For two long months, our individual support and welfare coordinators were not allowed to enter the hospital wards and kept daily contact with the isolated children and families through the phone. By mid-May they were finally allowed to return back into the wards and are now combining their amazing work in the wards with making home visits of children who are restricted by their doctors to home isolation.
Our coordinators are at the forefront of our contact with the sick children and families and as we were surprised to learn – are not only currently, but also throughout the entirety of the Coronavirus crisis, we were the only ones to provide individualized care to the needs of children battling cancer and their families in Israel.
As the hospital wards reopen, it appears that with the harsh reality of governmental cutbacks, social worker’s tools and means to assist are limited and reduced, leaving our coordinators to provide the families with the holistic approach response and continue to act as their lifeline and the shoulder the families need so much.
In addition to the need for assistance requested by “new” families, and the increasing reports on emotional difficulties of the children, the coordinators report on a dramatic growth of requests for financial aid for medical needs and health care from families of sick children who lost their jobs and found themselves with limited to no income. We try to help as much as we can with basic food and medical needs.
The coordinators meet children looking for innovative solutions after recommended by the doctors to get life-saving procedures overseas, which are now unavailable due to the no-flight restrictions. We are responding through our Health Fund with obtaining innovative medical solutions that are beyond their financial reach – new medications, sending DNA tests for analyze abroad and more.