Family Service Agency Continues to Provide Vital Services During COVID-19 Outbreak

As a provider of social services and other necessities for economically disadvantaged individuals, Family Service Agency (FSA) is considered an “essential business” in the state of California. Therefore, FSA, Santa Maria Valley Youth & Family Center (SMVYFC), and Little House by The Park (LHP) are taking proactive steps to protect staff, clients, and local communities from further spread of COVID-19 while continuing to work with vulnerable members of our community.

“At Family Service Agency, our primary concern is the health and well-being of our community,” said FSA Executive Director, Lisa Brabo. “As we continue to provide essential services, we are making some important changes to operations to ensure the safety of our staff and those we serve. This will be adjusted as necessary in the coming weeks.”

FSA has already suspended all home visits.

As of Friday, March 20, all FSA offices are closed to the public. Most core services are being provided via telephone/video or in-person in essential situations, such as safety net support and food distribution. All offices are complying with rigorous sanitation practices and maintaining safe distances as outlined by public health officials.

FSA will be providing senior and caregiver mental health support via telehealth, a HIPAA-compliant protocol for interfacing with clients via telephone or video. 

With the closure of schools, school-based counselors in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, and Carpinteria are also shifting to telehealth practices to continue to support those children who need mental health counseling.

Anyone needing support services or mental health counseling, should call their local FSA office:

                Santa Barbara (805) 965-1001                     Santa Maria (805) 928-1707

                Lompoc (805) 735-4376                                  Guadalupe (805) 343-1194           

Additionally, all upcoming Nurturing Parenting, Strengthening Families, Within Our/My Reach, and Youth Mental Health First Aid classes scheduled in March and April have been cancelled and will be re-scheduled at a later date.

“In light of the imposed COVID-19 self-quarantines, school closures, and business restrictions, we fully expect the needs for mental health counseling and family support services to increase over the coming weeks,” said Brabo. “FSA is prepared to continue vital services in the safest manner possible and in accordance with public health guidelines.”

Updates to FSA operations will be posted on the FSA website and in social media.

                                                                                                                                                                                               

Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County (FSA) is a nonprofit social service agency that has served the people of Santa Barbara County since 1899. Operating as Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Center (SMVYFC) in Santa Maria and Little House By The Park (LHP) in Guadalupe, FSA helps the community’s most vulnerable children, families, and seniors meet their basic needs while simultaneously addressing mental health needs. Through this holistic approach, FSA improves the strength and well-being of our community. All services are provided free or on a sliding fee/donation scale and no one is denied assistance because of an inability to pay. Visit fsacares.org or call (805) 965-1001 for more information.

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