In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Family Services has realigned its service delivery to comply with California’s shelter in place mandate and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for social distancing.
The majority of our staff is now working remotely. Though most of our physical spaces are now closed to visitors temporarily, we are committed to our mission and will do everything we can to provide life-saving services to survivors and the community. This includes growing our technological capacity to allow and equip staff to work remotely. Even though we are not present in our offices, we are here for our clients and community during this difficult time. Staff at all program sites are accessible via existing office phone numbers and e-mail.
Some of our essential, in-person services are continuing with extra precautions. These include:
- Our emergency domestic violence shelter, Karen’s House, remains open to survivors fleeing violence who are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and who have not been exposed to someone who is ill. Those seeking shelter who exhibit symptoms of cough, fever, or shortness of breath will be asked to first call their doctor and provide a letter clearing them to enter shelter. We are taking all necessary precautions to maintain safety and health of our clients and staff, including rigorous cleaning, emphasizing hand washing, and limiting unnecessary visits to the shelter.
- We are still responding in person to sexual assault forensic exams to provide crisis intervention, needs assessment, referral to services, emotional support, and to get contact information for follow up. Follow up services will be provided remotely.
- Our 24-Hour Hotlines remain available. (Domestic Violence: 559-732-5941 or 800-448-2044; Sexual Assault: 559-732-7273 or 559-784-7273; Human Trafficking: 888-373-7888) We have also added a Domestic Violence Chatline for survivors who cannot safely call our hotline.
The following services are still being offered, but are now delivered remotely:
- Recognizing that this may be a vulnerable time for so many who depend on our services as a source of support, we continue to provide individual counseling sessions via video conference or telephone.
- In-home parenting services are being delivered via phone or video conference.
- Psycho-education groups, support groups, clinics, and classes are offered in a video conference format.
- Legal advocates are assisting clients with paperwork and crisis counseling via phone and video conference, but court accompaniment or in-person filing is suspended until further notice.
- Our domestic violence emergency response to hospitals and other restricted locations is being done via phone crisis intervention (responding in person to transport to shelter if needed).
- The Freedom House youth drop-in center is staffed and available to provide limited, no-contact services such as emergency food and hygiene products. Crisis counseling is being provided via video conference or phone.
- Administrative staff will be working remotely.
The following services are postponed or temporarily canceled:
- Our supervised visitation centers are high-traffic areas where social distancing cannot be achieved. Supervised visits and safe exchange services have been postponed until further notice.
- All of our in-person community outreach and education efforts are postponed until further notice.
- School-based services have been canceled through the duration of school closures.
- The Goshen Family Center, co-located at Goshen Elementary School, is temporarily closed through the duration of the school closure.
This is a difficult and complicated time for all of us. We love our caring community, the resilient people we serve, and our hardworking employees, and will do everything we can to help keep them safe while working toward our mission to help children, adults, and families heal from violence and thrive in healthy relationships.
Contacting Family Services
Program Phone: 559-741-7310
Administration Phone: 559-732-1970
24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 559-732- 5941 or 800-448- 2044
24-Hour Rape Crisis Hotline: Visalia: 559-732- 7273 or Porterville: 559-784-7273
24-Hour National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 888-373-7888
Supporting our Work
If you care about our work and are able to make a financial contribution, we could use your support. Donate here.
Staying Up to Date on COVID-19
For accurate and up to date information on COVID 19, we recommend checking with the Tulare County Public Health Department or the World Health Organization.