Governor Chris Sununu Issues Emergency Order 22
Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Order 22 as part of the state's efforts to respond to COVID-19.
Early data shows that while the volume of calls to the Division of Children, Youth, and Families' (DCYF) Child Abuse Hotline has been down over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that while almost all types of child abuse allegations are down as a result, the number of Domestic Violence and Substance Use related referrals is up. Accordingly, Emergency Order #22 authorizes emergency funding for child protection services, including:
- Domestic Violence Support - DCYF has long had a program in partnership with the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence which co-locates part-time Crisis Center Staff, known as a Family Violence Prevention Specialist, with DCYF staff to help support victims of domestic violence and their children. Executive Order #22 moves all Family Violence Prevention Specialists in each office across the state from part-time to full-time to assist DCYF in supporting victims of domestic violence and their children.
- Substance Use Support - Includes funding to hire three new Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselors to provide support for families with Substance Use Disorder
- Strength to Succeed - This program currently covers children age 0-6 who are involved with DCYF because of complications regarding a parent/caregiver who suffers from a substance use disorder. Under Emergency Order #22, the program's age cap is expanded to cover children age 0-10 and includes families that struggle with mental illness or other chronic neglect issues, but may not experience SUD issues. The primary program areas are: rapid access to treatment; delivery of home-visiting curriculum; addressing parent/caregiver needs through peer support, recovery supports, treatment, and education; education and support to relative caregivers; age appropriate messaging and education to children; training to partner agencies and all program staff.
- Technology support for DCYF involved families - A great deal of communication and visitation is occurring through various means of video conferencing as a result of social distancing. 200 families are estimated to be in need of technology to facilitate remote communication and visitation.
- Family Resiliency Support Line - Waypoint offers telephonic support to families tohelp them manage challenges within their families. This is distinct from 211, which is a referral service, in that clinically trained staff help families address interpersonal challenges and make further referrals when needed. At this time when so many families are isolated from their typical supports, expanding a support line such as this can help reduce the stress on families and thereby reduce child abuse and neglect.