The Road to Reopening: When Will It Be the Right Time to Return to your Pre-Pandemic Workplace? The answer will be different for every organization based on multiple factors. The first factor, of course, depends on our mission. If our mission has been “essential” and we’ve remained on-site, what changes will we need to make to accommodate (potentially increased) constituents and any returning paid or volunteer staff? And for those who have continued to work on-site, what additional support do our staff need in terms of time off, longer breaks, or mental health services? For those reopening our doors, we’ll need to consider factors such as the size and layout of the workspace – for individual employees, constituents, and visitors – in common spaces and at workstations. Other factors depend on our geographic location, the spread of COVID-19 in our region, and any public health orders by government authorities. And throughout, we all need to consider not the quickest or easiest ways to do something, but rather seek the highest common denominator of what’s needed by our staff members and the people we serve who may be at higher risk of contracting the virus or developing severe complications. Check out resources on these topics from the National Council of Non-Profits.
The Keys to Non Profit Management: So many of the bottlenecks and obstacles we face when seeking to achieve our mission are identical to those who toiled before us. This article in the Stanford Innovation Review contains three critical tips for nonprofit managers.
Transition to Adulthood
- How to Help Students with Disabilities Transition to Adult Life: Check out this easy-to-read article on planning for life after high school.
- Resource Finder Helps Adolescents Transition to Adulthood: Click here for resources that allow young adults with special healthcare needs learn about their diagnosis/disability and how to take care of themselves as they transition into adulthood.
- Becoming an Adult: Challenges for Those with Mental Health Conditions: For youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions the changes during this stage of life are challenging and complex. Read more here.
- Toxic Stress in Children Impact Over a Lifetime: Up to 90% of children will experience at least one traumatic event, which can lead to toxic stress. According to Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, toxic stress is the “excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body and brain.” Examples of stressful childhood situations include the death of loved ones, illness, divorce, an unstable home environment, crime, natural disasters, mass shootings, terrorism, and war. Many of these situations are becoming a daily and normal occurrence for children around the world. Toxic stress can lead to problems with learning, behavior, and health—all of which can last a lifetime. This article provides an overview of toxic stress, including how the brain develops, the impact of stress on the body, the long-term effects of stress, resilience, and how to prevent toxic stress. Read more.
Resources Specific to Working with Low-Income Families Including Those Receiving TANF: This article summarizes critical information needed to support low-income families.
- OSEP Releases Fast Facts on School Aged Children with Disabilities: OSEP released a Hand In Hand supplemental tool that parents and stakeholders can use alongside the new OSEP Fast Fact. This new tool guides users through the OSEP Fast Facts and is presented with critical questions to allow parents and other stakeholders to engage with the materials. Read more here: Fast Fact sheet, Hand in Hand tool, OSEP Blog.
- Health and Wellbeing in Midlife Parents of Children with Special Healthcare Needs: The objectives of this study were to delineate variation in mental and physical health outcomes over a 10-year period among parents with a child with special health needs as compared to parents of a typically developing child; and evaluate the possible protective effects of parental perceived control and social support. The added stressors of parenting a child with special health needs may undermine the long-term health of parents. Behavioral interventions and clinical practices that facilitate parental perceived control may enable resilience and better health. Find out more.
- Understanding HIPAA: What Parents Need to Know About Privacy & Their Adult Child’s Health Information,” This Q&A Fact Sheet was developed for families under a collaboration between National Family Support Technical Assistance Center (NFSTAC) and the Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information. More information or view the fact sheet.
- Effective Strategies for Providing Quality Youth Mentoring in Schools and Communities: Mentoring can be a beneficial experience for youth and young adults. The toolkit, Building Relationships: A Guide for New Mentors, talks about a successful mentoring relationship and the 10 principles of effective mentoring. The guide also includes the following handout: The Mentoring Relationship Cycle, a tool to start implementing the strategies for providing quality youth mentoring. Find it here.
- Jump$tart’s Reality Check:Youth and young adults are always asked about their future or goals, but many of those goals need financial support. This tool from Jump$tart helps to start developing financial smarts and take a reality check towards any youthful aspirations. Find it here.
Public Participation Flexibilities
The U.S. Department of Education has highlighted flexibilities with regard to hearings for meeting the IDEA public participation requirements. I have attached two Topic Briefs addressing permissible flexibilities with regard to the public participation requirements at 34 C.F.R. § 300.165 (Part B) and 34 C.F.R. § 303.208 and in section 441(b)(7) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1232d(b)(7) (Part C). Please read the documents below.