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Arapahoe County’s Human Services department wants everyone to know that its need-based services are still available to all qualified citizens during the coronavirus crisis. The department’s employees have continued to perform their duties and are making adjustments as needed to ensure that their clients get what they need during this trying time. This has included adding layers of safety protocols that are designed to protect the health of employees and clients alike.
For a complete list of services and guidance about how to access them online, visit arapahoegov.com/covid19. And please read the message below from Human Services Director Cheryl Ternes to her staff to see how the entire department will keep fulfilling its mission for the duration of the crisis.
As we enter a new month, there is still a lot of uncertainty in our world. Everyone wants to know when this disease will slow and the economy will begin to recover. I can feel your worry and see it and hear it in your voices. I, too, look forward to the day when we can see each other in person!
Right now, it seems like we are struggling to come to terms with what our new “normal” will look like. While the rest of the world is staying at home, many of our human services colleagues have continued to carry out essential roles to help those at-risk and in-need. Your dedication and resiliency cannot be underscored and I think I speak for all of us when I say a deep “thank you” for your dedication.
There are many people in need of our services right now, and workers in Community and Child Support Services are handling higher call volumes and seeing increased caseloads. To put it in perspective, the number of applications for food, cash and medical assistance nearly doubled during the third week of March. The number of applications to Colorado Works (TANF), which is short-term cash relief for families, more than tripled in that same time frame.
In Child and Adult Protection Services, caseworkers have become more vigilant in looking out for kids, at-risk adults and families. Caseworkers are adjusting to new safety protocols, finding ways to stay connected with clients, deliver services and respond to calls of abuse and neglect, while looking out for their own health and safety.
Our County officials and leadership team meet every day to develop and review plans, make adjustments and plan for both the immediate and distant future. I am involved in these many discussions on how to best serve our citizens and I’m also keenly aware of my commitment to you as County employees.
I am proud of how our team has handled all the changes thrown at us in the past few weeks. Even the toughest among us have been shaken by this pandemic. You’ve shown determination and flexibility and still manage to keep smiles on your faces. We will get through this.
Keep up the great work. We are fortunate to be able to work remotely and have the technology to plug-in from home during this time. While so many others may be experiencing work-related hardship, we can keep going.
I hope you take care of yourself and your loved ones. Thank you for all that you do for our citizens.