Addressing family care needs during unprecedented times

July 29, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Last week, Ann Arbor Public Schools announced that when classes resume at the end of August, they will be fully virtual.

While neighboring school districts have not yet announced their falls plans, many families are bracing themselves for similar news.

The organization knows that for many faculty, staff and learners with school-aged dependents, the idea of navigating a fully-virtual fall is overwhelming and stressful. Individuals across the Michigan Medicine community have made it known that balancing home and work is going to be incredibly challenging.

With that in mind, the leadership team is committed to supporting everyone through this unprecedented journey.

To this end, the organization has launched a Family Care Task Force to work together to identify existing and develop new solutions to these unique challenges. Over the next few weeks, the task force will work together on behalf of the entire organization to:

  • Identify and evaluate the current state of both U-M and community family care resources and their accessibility and availability to our faculty, staff and learners;
  • Benchmark with local health care organizations as well as AAMC peers regarding family care offerings;
  • Identify the key issues and barriers impacting accessibility and availability of family care for faculty, staff and learners; and
  • Propose potential solutions and the resourcing needed to meet identified needs.

The task force’s work is already underway, as detailed on the Family Care Needs During COVID-19 website. Below is a summary of the task force work plan on behalf of the Michigan Medicine community.

Family care resources list

The task force has assembled a robust list of family care resources for your reference and use, which you can access here. These resources define family care broadly, including school-aged care, elderly care and special needs care. The list will continue to be updated in real-time.

If you have suggestions of resources to include on this list, please send them to familycaretaskforce@umich.edu.

Family care focus groups

The task force will conduct focus groups to better understand the community’s family care needs.

Based upon the input of these groups, the task force will work to identify and/or develop additional family care resources, with the goal of making it easier for individuals across Michigan Medicine to balance work and home demands.

Additional information about these focus groups, including how and when to participate, is forthcoming.

To express interest in participating in a focus group, please contact familycaretaskforce@umich.edu.

Family care needs and work adjustments survey

For some colleagues, meeting the unique demands of home may require temporary adjustments to their work arrangements, such as schedule changes or effort reductions.

To help departments and units plan for these changes, the task force will provide a “Family Care Needs and Work Adjustments Survey.” Departments and units may distribute this survey locally and use the data to inform decision-making and address any potential impact to mission operations.

The plan is to distribute this survey in early August, allowing time for additional school districts to announce their plans and for faculty, staff and learners to review the Family Care Resource List.

These are unprecedented times for the community, both at work and at home. Michigan Medicine is committed to supporting you through these unique circumstances and will continue to share information regarding resources and progress in the weeks ahead.

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