Marsha began as a ProKids volunteer after she retired in 2019. She began immediately with one case but as the pandemic went on, she took on a second. “I could see how more children were going to need ProKids,” she says.
In Marsha’s case which began pre-pandemic, a 17-year-old girl, “Tiffany,” was removed from her family after she became pregnant by a relative. Now, she lives in a county-funded semi-independent apartment where she attends high school and cares for her child. Most of the time, before the pandemic, Tiffany kept it together thanks to the support services at her high school. Now, Marsha is concerned Tiffany is falling behind and may not graduate this year.
Marsha has also raised concerns with the agency which operates the apartment building about its COVID-19 safety measures. The teens who live in the building, Marsha notes, have no family members to reinforce mask wearing or hand washing. They don’t understand the risks for themselves, or in Tiffany’s case, to a young child. So Marsha does what she can: dropping off masks and sanitizer to Tiffany and texting her regularly to check in.
In Marsha’s other case, three children, ages 3, 9 and 13, were removed from their mother and placed in two different homes. Marsha finds that the ways she can interact are different, given the comfort levels of the two caregivers. In one, she can have virtual visits with the children. In the other, the lack of comfort with technology makes connecting more difficult.
“I have visited on the porch and on walks,” Marsha says. “We have to find ways to help everyone cope at this difficult time.”