As our nation celebrates the essential workers on the front line who are sacrificing so much to care for others during this unprecedented crisis, we must also remember the essential workers who are often hidden from the public eye: the child welfare case managers and child protective investigators who protect vulnerable children. The home visitors who support struggling families. The counselors who provide literal lifelines to children coping with mental illnesses. And the many frontline professionals serving in community-based human services organizations that house, feed and care for millions of children, adults and families across the country who require critical support.
These essential employees in every community across the nation are critical to meet the increased needs of vulnerable families, now more than ever.
But while the demand for these professionals — and the organizations they represent — is greater now more than ever, the public health crisis we are all battling is taking a tremendous toll on nonprofits nationwide. Our federal government must to more to ensure that organizations can continue to meet the growing, urgent demands for their services
The CARES Act is a good start to address the needs of human services nonprofits, but it doesn’t go far enough. Without additional support specifically targeting these organizations — at all sizes — countless families, children and seniors will suffer.
Many human services nonprofits receive the majority of their revenue through government grants and contracts that rarely cover the full cost of providing services. Charitable donations, which often fill significant funding gaps, are down, and annual fundraising events are on hold. Despite this, Children’s Home Society of Florida, like many organizations, refuses to allow children and families to go unserved.
Families on the brink of crisis find the stability, guidance and practical tips they need to make it through another day. They find the compassionate listener who offers the advice that gives them hope for today, steps for success tomorrow.