March 19, 2020

Dear Families and Friends of Carolina and ABC Adoption Services,

First, please know that our team members at Carolina and ABC Adoption Services are thinking of each of you during this challenging time in our communities and adoption services. The impact of COVID-19 is a new challenge to each of us, locally, nationally and world- wide. This is a time to truly realize how connected we are in this world- that at this time, does not seem as large. We are one global community and how we live our lives, truly touches others. As we reflect on the challenges of COVID-19, and the impact on our daily lives, we should also reflect on the messages sent by each of you who have found your family incomplete without adoption. Your capacity to expand your love and home to others resonates to everyone you encounter. Your adoption journey is a great gift that the team at CAS ABC are thankful to be a small part of in the journey of your family.

As we are facing this new challenge of COVID-19, please be assured that our CAS ABC team members are here to support you, your family and community. We encourage you to take time to adjust to these rapid changes in our world and how they impact the daily life in your home. Many of you are heeding the instructions of the WHO and CDC and are “Sheltering in Place” to reduce the exposure and spread of COVID-19. We strongly encourage you to “Shelter in Place” with your family. This is the most caring thing you can do to protect our families and communities. We are aware that this process brings many challenges ranging from accessing food, medicine, reduced employment, home schooling and caring for extended family and community. While you are giving of yourselves in this challenging time, please take time to recharge, share your concerns and “refill your bucket” so you may continue in this journey.

In our efforts to support you during this time of COVID-19, we wanted to notify you that the majority of the staff will be working remotely beginning March 19, 2020. We are dedicated to supporting you through phone calls, video conference, referrals and resources as we also shelter in place to protect our families and community. We may reached by phone at 1-800-632-9312; extension 141 for home study and post adoption services, extension 122 for new inquires and international services and extension 135 for agency operations and domestic adoption. Please leave a message and your call will be returned promptly. You may also email your CAS ABC contact person as all emails are received remotely. Our current office hours are 8:00 – 4:00 eastern standard time Monday thru Thursday. Our office is closed on Friday. There will be a staff member in the office each week, Monday – Thursday from 8 -4 to process mail and file documents to best serve families. If you need additional assistance I can be reached at pstephenson@carolinaadoption.org.

As we seek to keep our team and families safe we have decided that our social workers will not be doing face to face in home visits during this time of COVID-19. If you need support, our social workers may meet with you by phone or video conference. Additionally, in cases approved by the Central Authority, some post adoption cases may be completed by video conferencing. Families involved in the home study process may also meet by video conference for some visits. However, the home study must have the required face to face visit to be finalized. The home visits will be scheduled when it is deemed safe for travel.

Please know your CAS ABC team is working daily to support your adoption journey and is adapting to this new environment while engaging locally, nationally and internationally. We welcome any ideas as to how we may best support you during this challenging season. It is our goal to walk with you and partner for your greatest success. Thank you so much for allowing us to be part of the adoption journey of your family. As Executive Director, it is my sincere honor to be part of this team and I welcome your ideas, suggestions and engagements to continually improve CAS ABC and our services to your family. Stay safe, take a break from the intense challenges and reach out for support. This new environment is challenging to all of us – but together we will navigate this more successfully.

Best always,

Phyllis Stephenson, CAS ABC Executive Director