Gabrielle Simonetti, a therapist at Family & Children’s Aid, taking part in an online therapy session.

A technology grant from the Foundation helped Family & Children’s Aid stay connected to the children and families who depend on them for mental health care, at a time when continuing support was critical. When the organization had to close its offices at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it saw a 90 percent drop in clients, just as families were struggling to manage forced isolation, disruptions in work, and distance learning—on top of their pre-existing challenges. As Charlaine St. Charles, team lead of Community-Based Programs at Family & Children’s Aid explained, “During the initial lockdown, it was especially important to teach kids techniques and skills that helped them manage their own behaviors, identify their feelings, express their feelings in a healthy way.” The grant Family & Children’s Aid received—which supported the purchase of hardware and software to implement telehealth—helped make that possible by restoring connection with children and providing needed structure and support for parents navigating difficult terrain.