Milwaukee Chapter

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Become a Virtual Family Friend During the COVID-19 Crisis

By Laura Leigh
4/1/2020

Become a Virtual Family Friend

Safe Families is in need of Family Friend volunteers who would operate virtually until Shelter At Home is lifted in Wisconsin. When you volunteer as a Family Friend, Safe Families for Children connects you with a vulnerable or socially isolated family that would benefit from a healthy support system. Family Friends encourage and strengthen families in crisis so that they may thrive.

Due to increased social isolation and unemployment in this season, we are hoping meet this need by having 10 new Virtual Family Friends in the month of April. Apply to become a “Virtual” Family Friend today and then register to attend the Zoom training¬† on Saturday, April 18, from 9 am to 11 am.

Milwaukee Family Friend: Wendy

Watch a video of Elmbrook Lake Country member, Wendy, explaining her Family Friend journey and how she is being a Virtual Family Friend through this current season.

 

How our volunteers are being Virtual Family Friends during COVID-19:

  • Friendship with parent through FaceTime¬†
  • Marco Polo app video messages back and forth
  • Regular texts
  • Sharing personal networks with parent for jobs, legal support, housing, etc.
  • prayer support
  • sharing encouraging verses
  • Listening ear
  • Help with family schedules and at-home education
  • Research with parents for housing, child care options, benefits, jobs, etc.
  • Tutoring for Kids
  • Ordering take out for the family
  • Sending care packages

Approval Process

An applicant could complete these steps all in one day:
  1. Application www.safe-families.org/family-friend-application
  2. Include contacts for 3 references in your application
  3. 2 hour Core Training (online or scheduled live zoom meeting on April 18)
  4. Background check (fingerprinted background check not required during COVID-19)
  5. Launch conversation with SF staff member
If you know someone who needs a Family Friend, have them go here or call 414-345-8715 ext. 0.

Become a Host Family

We are also looking to have 20 new Host Families by August to prepare for the upcoming increased need for hostings. Host Families host kids for short, temporary times until their parents get back on their feet after a crisis. While hostings are now extremely limited during Shelter in Place, you could consider using this time to become an approved Host Family so that you are approved and ready to volunteer once Safer at Home measures are lifted. Fill out your application here to get started.