Support and Resources Available to Help Families

Support and Resources Available to Help Families during COVID-19
Posted on 04/29/2020

With schools temporarily closed to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), families must juggle work, homeschooling children, and new levels of stress and anxiety. This is a scary uncertain time for everyone, but the Rome City School District wants families to know that we are here to help them. With our school counselors and other agencies in our community, help is just a phone call or click away. 


Rome School Counselors work with students, parents, administrators, teachers, and various outside agencies to assist in overcoming personal and family obstacles that impede a student's life. They also continue help students with academic planning and social/emotional development and are available through email or Google Meets to talk. Some of our counselors also virtually deliver Second Step lessons through Google Classroom. Pre-K through 8th grade Social-Emotional Learning lessons and more. There is also a website: with a list of resources families can use to help their young children learn the social-emotional skills they need to get through these challenging events.


For students with an Individual Educational Plan (IEP), supported learning professionals are available to reach out to them and their parent/guardian.


With the news of schools closing on March 13th because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Melissa Roys, Executive Director of Connected Community Schools (CCS) headed up its boots-on-the-ground Community Response Team. CCS program includes Rome schools serving as hubs for on-site links to local agencies to help meet student and family needs. It is coordinated by the Rome Alliance for Education (RAE) non-profit organization in partnership with the Safe Schools Mohawk Valley organization and CNY Health Homes Network.


“Melissa Roys has gone above and beyond. Her wheels immediately started turning to get a plan in place to face the challenges and support the students and families in our area. Just yesterday (April 21) there were 2,000 individuals served by the food pantry at Gansevoort,” said Danielle Martin, VP of Clinical Program and oversite of children’s programs at Home Health Network. Her organization, which works in conjunction with CCS has established strong relationships with the community around them and can link their clients to the services they need, such as mental health, food pantries, etc. “We have had to pivot from conducting services with clients face to face to telehealth,” she said.


“During these difficult times, there's a whirlwind of information and updates about resources and assistance that your family can access, but it's hard to keep up and even harder to find to time to tackle it all. Connected Community Schools can help! Whether you're looking for food, in need of mental health resources for yourself or your child, have questions about unemployment, or have any other need, you can be connected with our community resource experts to get you the services you need! Call or text Miranda at 315-982-2520! If you'd prefer, you can also reach out to your child's counselor, school social worker, or building principal and they can connect you as well,” said Miranda Majewicz, Project Manager, Connected Community Schools.


These stressful times can also lead to the increased drug and alcohol use. With children home, they are spending more time around adults and adult behavior. Be mindful of adult alcohol use and keep alcohol properly secured. This is a good time to remind kids of the dangers of alcohol, substance use, vaping, and gambling behaviors. Being safe at home includes discussion about prevention.1


Cassandra Sheets, LMSW, Chief Executive Officer for the Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. says that there are resources for families that are dealing with these issues such as isolation from friends, lack of sleep and maybe even domestic abuse. Her agency is mostly utilizing telehealth.


You can find out at one click of the button what CFLR is doing in Prevention, Recovery, EAP and Behavioral Health by going visiting:


For those who are in recovery they may face new challenges with COVID-19. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, physical distancing, which remains critical to COVID-19 mitigation, may reduce some of the social support needed for recovery, create barriers to treatment, and decrease the likelihood of observed overdoses making naloxone (Narcan) reversal of overdose less likely and potentially resulting in more fatalities.


Narcan Virtual Trainings:


Virtual Recovery Resources:


The Rome City School District has put together a comprehensive website with information for families struggling with mental health issues as well as those dealing with substance abuse problems:




  1. Source: Office of Addiction Services and Supports



For more information contact: Amanda Jones, Director of Counseling Services for Rome City School District (315) 338-6518 or email at:


- Jill Pekarski


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