ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — The pandemic has changed everything, from how and if people go to work, to children now needing school instruction from home.
As families adjust to this difficult time, and in light of April being child abuse prevention month, the Erie County Department of Social Services wants families to know about several resources that are available.
"We understand that parents are under stress, and we are asking Erie County parents and other caregivers to please reach out if they need help during this difficult time," Commissioner of Social Services Marie Cannon said.
The Family Helpline, (716) 892-2172
- Caregivers can call this number 24/7 if you're anxious, overwhelmed or upset
- Callers remain anonymous, and understanding listeners will help provide information and resources to you
- 90 percent of caregivers who call this help line, which is operated by the Family Help Center, are able to positively change their behavior towards their children
Every Person Influences Children (EPIC) Parent Support Line, (716) 332-4111
- Team members trained in parenting and social work are available weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
- Parents can call this number for help with stress management, establishing home school routines, positive discipline strategies, and any other issues with their children being at home
- This number is open to all, you don't have to have participated in EPIC programming in the past, and EPIC recognizes that parents are juggling a lot right now
The Family Justice Center, (716) 558-SAFE (7233)
- The FJC helps families experiencing interpersonal violence
- You can reach them by phone, email, or an online chatbox
- If you're in an emergency, you should still contact 911
- FJC representatives can help create safety plans and connect you to services
- Crisis Services is available to anyone, and offers several helplines to assist Erie County residents with a wide range of situations, including addiction, mental health disorders and domestic violence
- The helplines are staffed by trained counselors to offer support and guidance
- The 24-hour Crisis Helpline number is 834-3131
- The 24-hour Addictions Hotline number is 831-7007
- The 24-hour Domestic Violence helpline is 862-HELP
- Crisis Services also operates a Kids Helpline at 834-1144
For more information on the Erie County Department of Social Services, click here.