Articles and Updates from Phoenix Children's
The COVID-19 recession has been unlike any other before it. Seemingly overnight, thousands of families saw their income drop precipitously – or disappear entirely. Meanwhile, closures of schools and childcare centers have hampered parents’ ability to continue working and supporting their families.
Ten percent of Arizonans are now unemployed, which has created tremendous challenges in paying rent and meeting the basic needs of the household. And even before the pandemic, 20% of Arizona’s kids were living with food insecurity.
Not surprisingly, financial and emotional stress have surged. Thankfully, there are many local and national resources out there to help.
- For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.
- If you or a loved one are contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Resilient Arizona Crisis Counseling can provide short-term counseling and aid for pandemic- and disaster-related challenges. Call 2-1-1.
- Families experiencing violence in the home can get support from the Sexual and Domestic Violence Services Helpline, (602) 279-2900 or (800) 782-6400.
- Call Poison Control, 1-800-222-1222, if someone in your home ingests a dangerous substance.
- For those struggling to make house payments, COVID-19 mortgage assistance is available through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
- Locally, homeowners can seek aid through Save Our Home AZ – Foreclosure Assistance.
- For renters who have been impacted by COVID-19, the Arizona Department of Housing has COVID-19 Rental Eviction Prevention Assistance.
- For low-income parents impacted by COVID-19, temporary financial assistance may be available through Arizona Department of Economic Assistance Short-Term Crisis Services.
- The Arizona Food Bank Network provides a list of local food banks for families facing food scarcity.
- Formerly known as food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) supports families who are struggling to put food on the table.
- The Arizona Department of Health Services provides the Arizona Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to aid pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women; infants; and children under the age of 5.
Finances and employment:
- ARIZONA@WORK provides job search services and information on job fairs and businesses that are currently hiring.
- If you’re looking for a job, ARIZONA@WORK and AZ Job Connection share thousands of available jobs, based on education level, pay, location and more.
- If you’re a worker that has been impacted by COVID-19, you may qualify for financial aid through Arizona’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
- For those whose regular unemployment insurance benefits have expired, additional Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) might be the answer.
- For those who need to head back to work but can’t afford childcare, financial assistance is available if you meet the income eligibility requirements.
- Arizona’s DES Child Care Administration offers childcare assistance for low-income working families, teen parents pursuing education, those living in homeless or domestic violence shelters and those not working due to physical or emotional challenges.
- Arizona Enrichment Centers are childcare centers that remained open during the pandemic, primarily to serve children of first responders and essential workers.
- Birth to Five Helpline (877-705-KIDS (5437)) is a free resource for families with young kids that provide guidance on everything from sleep and feeding to safety and potty training. child development support.
- Families struggling to afford internet can consider CenturyLink’s Lifeline or Cox’s Connect2Compete.
- If you can’t get internet in your home, there are free Wi-Fi hot spots around the state. Check out the Connect Arizona map to find one near you.
- If you need tips for talking to kids about COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has a downloadable fact sheet with guidance. Dr. Funda Bachini, psychiatrist, also provides helpful information on our Bright Futures blog.
- Stress and grief aren’t just for adults. Phoenix Children’s Amanda Sahli shared ways of Preparing Children for COVID-19-Related Grief.
- Coloring has been shown to reduce stress among both children and adults. The Arizona Department of Child Safety created this Strong Families, Stronger Arizona downloadable coloring book.
- As families are spending more time together at home, the tight quarters are bound to create friction. Doctors from Phoenix Children’s tackle the issue in Fighting Fair: A Guide to Better Communication.
- Visit the Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience at Arizona State University for virtual meditation practices that restore peace, balance and executive decision-making abilities, even in times of great stress.
- Staying healthy during a pandemic isn’t easy. Which is why the nonprofit, Action for Healthy Kids, shared ideas for physical activity and healthy eating. The page includes ideas for games, meals and more.
- Children in Arizona experience more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) than in any other state. Those experiences can color lead to toxic stress, but a state consortium has gathered self-care guidance and fostering resiliency advice that can help.
- Raising Arizona Kids magazine has also gathered at-home activity ideas to help kids stay engaged and interested.
- Children under 19 who can’t get insurance through their parents or other caregivers may be eligible for AHCCCS Medical Assistance/KidsCare.
- Phoenix Children’s outlined 10 Tips to Help Kids Wear Face Masks.
- Healthcare professionals continue to emphasize the Importance of Continuing Vaccinations during COVID-19.