COVID-19 Resources - Amara

COVID-19 Resources

Ensuring Safety, Health, & Well-Being

Our top priorities are the health and well-being of our entire Amara community: you, your children, our staff, and volunteers. We work with a wide variety of children, youth, adults, and families across Western Washington. It’s our goal to ensure we continue to provide our essential services, in safe, flexible, and creative ways, through this uncertain time. 

We will update this webpage with information as our programs and operations shift due to COVID-19. For additional information on:

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Amara Office Operations

Our office locations remain closed except for limited services that must take place on our campuses. Amara is requiring all staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021. Staff are required to work from home unless working directly with clients accessing essential services at our offices or on an as-needed basis. Further, all staff and volunteers are required to wear face coverings that adhere to CDC guidelines indoors when at an Amara facility and in any other indoor setting when interacting with Amara families or children during the course of their work for Amara; this includes while transporting children to and from visits in a vehicle.  

 

Volunteer Program

Amara is immensely grateful for our volunteers who provide critical support to our Adoption Files Initiative, our Family Visitation Program, and who help beautify our spaces in Seattle and Tacoma. Currently, we are not accepting new volunteers. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate next steps.

 

Emergency Sanctuaries

Out of safety and concern for children, volunteers, and staff, the Emergency Sanctuaries have been closed through 2021. We continue to look at the most impactful ways to utilize the Sanctuaries themselves.

 

Post-Adoption Services

Amara’s Post-Adoption program continues to work with adopted people, adoptive families, and birth families. Read more about the program and services, or find a workshop or event here 

 

Family Time Visitation

Visits between kids and infants in foster care and their parents continue to happen in-person at our Seattle and Tacoma campuses in our beautiful, kid-friendly and welcoming rooms.   

 

Foster Care Services

Foster Families can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine! Find a vaccine location near you.

Like many of you, we are working to be creative and flexible in how we accomplish our work, and we are focused on ensuring that we are keeping health and safety at the center of our work. It is imperative that we see children in person, in their homes, speak with them, and see their home conditions with our own eyes. It is also imperative that we continue to practice physical distancing and limit in-person interactions whenever possible. Your Foster Care Specialist will inform you of what interviews and home visits can take place in person and what can be virtual.

For families interested in fostering with Amara, we have moved our informational meetings permanently to virtual. Click here to find our upcoming information meetings. 

Safety Precautions utilized at Amara for in-person work:

Amara follows these safety precautions (unless guidance changes) and asks that all those participating in a visit/interview or who visit our offices do as well to ensure mutual health and safety:

  • If anyone in the home has a pre-existing condition a symptom of COVID or a known exposure to COVID, we will work with you to create a tailored approach to your interview/visit to ensure health and safety.
  • Limit in-person contact:
    • We will complete the majority of interviews virtually and limit in-person visits to the most vital questions or things that need to be seen in-person. If you’re interested in a pre-home visit question form to fill out to make this even shorter, just ask your Foster Care Specialist.
    • For discussion portions of in-person meetings with you and with children, we can meet outside in a yard, on a porch, or go for a walk around the block.
    • In-person viewing of the child’s room will be kept short. Licensing visits will be kept as short as possible focusing on what needs to be seen and verified in person.
  • Wear a mask during in-person interactions
  • Avoid physical greetings (e.g. hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, etc.)
  • Limit what we all touch
    • Your Foster Care Specialist will likely ask you to open doors and other items that we need to see for inspections
    • Limit the exchange of paperwork
  • Wash hands frequently and utilize cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer as needed

 

Next Steps

Amara will be making decisions about transitioning back to the offices collaboratively at the leadership level and we recognize that these decisions may look different depending on the program. Our decision making will be informed by local health authorities, the Governor’s office, DCYF, and other partner organizations. We will be thoughtful about our return strategy and intend to incorporate tools and lessons learned during this time into our work in the future. As we establish these decisions, we will share those with our staff, volunteers, partners, and families.  

Visit our news page for updates and information.

General COVID-19 Information

Washington State Coronavirus Response – Daily statistics and government information.

What to do if you’re feeling symptoms or believe you’ve been exposed:
In King County, if you believe you were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, contact the novel coronavirus call center: 206-477-3977 or your health care provider. For Pierce County and other locations, please contact your local health department hotline. Please also inform your Foster Care Specialist or Family Time Specialist of any exposure, or a presumed or actual positive, so that we can take the necessary precautions to protect our community.

Coordinated Care has resources including Teladoc and a nurse advice line.

DOH and DCYF COVID-19 Webpage:
Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and DCYF have created websites regarding the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak that they will be updating ongoing. We encourage you to utilize both sources for information, and we will also be monitoring these websites.

Crisis Resources 
Visit the Open Arms Perinatal Services COVID-19 resources page for a list of excellent resources for pregnant and parenting people.

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