PRESQUE ISLE – Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) has been awarded $15,000 from the John T. Gorman Foundation to provide additional social supports to families with young children.
Social distancing requirements have made it more difficult for social service agencies to reach vulnerable families with young children, raising the risks for unsafe situations and unmet needs at home. This designated gift will allow professionals to connect with families and offer them the individualized support by connecting them to resources, providing education on safe practices for young children, and offer direct supports such as food, diapers and toys while complying with all CDC guidance. “Driveway Visits”, as they have affectionately been called, will begin in Aroostook County next week and will continue throughout the summer in an effort to support children and their families.
“This has been such a difficult time. A time when many have been cut off from their family or other support systems. Being able to provide supportive contact to parents and caregivers is so very important in this time of uncertainty and stress. If we can provide support and hope to families and give them strength to make it through another day, we have made a difference,” said Sue Powers, Director of Programs at ACAP. She continued, “Seeing a smiling face, hearing a supportive voice sometimes can make the difference. Parenting during this pandemic has created obstacles and challenges that we never could have imagined before. We are able with this project to help support families to keep their children engaged in safe and educational activities, while at the same time, providing support to parents and caregivers.”
ACAP was one of eight agencies statewide to receive funding to ensure child safety from the John T. Gorman Foundation. These designated funds will be integrated with other existing ACAP programs such as Head Start and Home Visiting to ensure we are meeting the needs of the families we serve. “During the COVID pandemic, homes are supposed to be a refuge – the one place you can go to feel completely safe. But the combination of social isolation and great stress over the last few months has raised serious concerns about the safety of many vulnerable households in Maine,” said John T. Gorman Foundation Chief Program Officer Nicole Witherbee. “These latest John T. Gorman Foundation grants were made to help victims of domestic violence escape their abusers and ensure parents can access the resources, support, and relationships they need to provide safe and healthy environments for their children. The Foundation feels fortunate to be able to support our partners’ critical work in these areas.”
Aroostook County Action Program provides the people of Aroostook County with services and resources that help individuals and families achieve greater economic independence. As a leader, or in partnership with others, ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to emerging human needs in the areas of community health, early care and education, energy and housing, and workforce development services. Aroostook County Action Program continues to accept new clients as well as serve existing clients through a vast array of programming. To learn more about available services available contact the ACAP Team at 207-764-3721.