Guidance from the National Children’s Alliance:  Mission Critical Services

While we recommend that you follow the directives of local health authorities, certain CAC functions will still be critical and essential even during extraordinary measures. CACs and their teams, partners, and board must make their triage plans in concert with local authorities and determine at the agency level which services must be made available under which conditions.

Based on CDC recommendations, it is advised that all non-essential staff be moved to telework where possible, and that non-critical activities be moved to alternative arrangements or postponed until further notice.

Here are some examples of critical and non-critical services.

Critical services that may not be postponed (examples)

  • Emergency medical exams
  • Mental health services for clients exhibiting suicidality or self-harm
  • Case-critical forensic interviews required by law
  • Cleaning and sanitization of facilities
  • Security and facility maintenance

Cases to be triaged (examples)

  • Many in-person mental health appointments
  • Many forensic interviews
  • Non-emergency medical exams

As you address these needs, remember that when we return to full service there is likely to be a large influx of reporting even larger than can be expected at the end of the typical school year. Be sure to schedule staff and plan appropriately to handle the caseload coming at the end of the public health crisis.

Activities best postponed or reformatted (examples)

  • In-person trainings and outreach activities
  • Fundraisers and community activities
  • Administrative work
  • Tours and partner meetings

Safety and concerns of essential employees who must report

First, determine which services are critical—services that must be maintained and offered through the outbreak. Then, look at your own workforce and assess which positions are essential to providing these critical services. Know the risk level of your own community so that you are making decisions based upon that and not upon broad media reports that may have little to do with your own community.

Staffing considerations

  • Encourage employees to wash hands frequently and make hand sanitizer available.
  • Address leave policies now and encourage those individuals who become ill (whether with COVID-19 or any other illness) to stay home from work until they are released to return to work by their physician.
  • More information about the legal responsibilities of employers regarding COVID-19 may be found here.

Further info and guidance from NCA.

Operational Resources:

Child/Family Resources:

Tele-Mental Health Resources:

Self-Care Resources: