Using Parent Gauge to Meet Critical Needs in a Pandemic
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the critical needs of many Head Start families have soared, reflecting a new set of difficulties as a direct result of the health crisis.
However, many programs using Parent Gauge have found that the tool has brought specific benefits during this time. Here are a few things that current programs have learned from using Parent Gauge over the past few unusual months:
- Despite having to switch to having Parent Gauge conversations over the phone instead of in-person, many programs have found that, surprisingly, a few families have opened up more than they ever did with the face-to-face conversations. While the personal, face-to-face notion of Parent Gauge is a valuable component of the tool for many families, there may be some that benefit from phone conversations instead.
- Across the country, many programs have been worried about identifying families who are struggling with the additional stresses of isolation and other effects of Coronavirus, and who may be nearing a danger point. This is certainly a difficult question to ask directly, but several programs have found that they can use answers to Parent Gauge to open discussion in a non-threatening way. Questions about dealing with your child’s emotions, discipline strategies, and emotional and mental well-being can stimulate a difficult conversation and give parents an opportunity to open up about stressful and potentially dangerous situations.
- Through a series of conversations during the crisis, one program learned that a mother who had been a past drug user was struggling with the isolation and very close to relapsing. The program began bringing her meals every day as a means of personal connection and caring, and they think she is back from the brink and responding well.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought critical needs upon us all and a set of challenges we have never seen before, but it has also brought us great stories of passion, innovation, and personal connection. Programs are finding imaginative ways to remain connected with families, and adapting the use of Parent Gauge in your program is just one way to support these great efforts. Learn more about this amazing tool.