At the Department of Health and Welfare, our mission is to strengthen the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. As you might guess, the positive impact we have on individuals and their families is ongoing and significant. We help people in crisis: struggling families needing a safe place to raise their children; people in the midst of a physical or mental health crisis; and families who need temporary public assistance to feed themselves and their children. These are just a few examples of how we serve those in need.
Now, add a global, devastating pandemic to the mix. The impact of COVID-19 on the United States is immeasurable. Here, in our home state, Idahoans have lost their jobs, closed the doors to their small businesses, or contracted COVID-19.
Now, what we do and how we do it, is more important than ever to the people of Idaho. We do not take this responsibility lightly. We spend many hours each day developing plans and removing barriers to better serve Idahoans. It’s not easy, but we want to always be there for Idahoans during dark days and difficult times. We want to create paths to healthier futures and more self-reliant Idahoans. Our goal is always to help Idahoans be as independent as possible and live their best lives.
During this pandemic, we are grateful for additional federal funding that has helped us do even more to help families in need. Through the Division of Family and Community Services, we have been able to help families here in Idaho.
- Subsidies to foster families – The funds have supported short-term increases in foster care subsidies ($100 additional per child for May, June, July, and August) for foster families who are caring for children in foster care to cover increased expenses during pandemic.
- Subsidies to families with children in foster care on extended home visits – Subsidies are being distributed to families who have their children on extended home visits and are working toward reunification and may have additional expenses or lost revenue. (The subsidies are up to $350/child and are meant to stabilize supports in the home to support families.)
Watching the trends
Although some of the metrics available on our COVID-19 dashboard are trending downward, it doesn’t change our need to continue to follow recommended precautions. It is because you have shown your concern for your neighbors and fellow Idahoans (by following the precautions) that things are currently trending as we’d hoped. Let’s continue our commitment to vulnerable Idahoans and our local businesses and schools. Remember to:
- Keep at least six feet between you and others in public
- Wear face coverings in public places
- Stay home if you are sick
- Wash your hands often
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Disinfect surfaces and objects regularly
Thanks for working with us to keep our neighbors and communities safe from the spread of COVID-19. #MaskUpIdaho