Youth Foyers across Australia are adopting measures to protect its young residents and staff as the rate of the COVID19 virus increases Australia-wide by the day.
Containment measures including hand washing, sanitising, office, apartment and communal room cleaning regimes have been ongoing, but the very nature of Youth Foyers as vibrant hubs of youthful activity is being challenged.
Social distancing is necessary but brings stresses to young people who might already be dealing with other challenges. Foyers such as in Warrnambool have cancelled indoor group activities, meetings and communal meals. Such events are the core of a Youth Foyer.
Jenny Hand, the manager of Foyer Warrnambool in Victoria, says that providing support and strategies to manage their residents’ emotional wellbeing during this unprecedented health crisis – and the looming economic crisis – is essential.
“We’ve been developing personal plans for each of our residents which identify any medical risks that may place them at greater risk, food, medications and cleaning product supplies, activities they like to do, possible short term accommodation options we’re talking to them about their responsibilities in containing the spread to more vulnerable people in the community,” Jenny said.
“We are planning a skeleton staff group and identifying tasks to be done by workers working from home which will be occurring on a rotating basis. We have also called for support from our wider organisation of Brophy Family and Youth Services (the service provider of the Foyer).”
Jenny said these were just some of the measures taken in the early stages of the pandemic impact. More strategies and practices are being formulated and developed as the Foyer approaches a “Targeted Action and Peak Actions” stage for when the effects of the virus peak.
Image: Jenny Hand at the Warrnambool Foyer