They are a dependable presence on the playground, and often the first responders when parents seek support on a range of faith and family issues. SCS Family Educators have always been a key link between the school, family and the parish.

As we move to remote learning, and an unspecified period of social isolation, these Family Educators are re-imaging the way they support the wellbeing of students and parents.

“We are now having to evolve in a virtual space, due to the impact of the Coronavirus and the associated restrictions,” said Meredith Lemos, Team Leader of the Family Educator Project. “We are continuing family support, which is critical in this difficult time, by thinking creatively and adapting already effective initiatives.”

“Our team is checking in on, and connecting, people through online activities such as weekly prayer meetings (*SPaRs), realtime playgroup gatherings, emailing wellbeing ideas and posting faith activities packs home”, Mrs Lemos said.

The team will also be emailing online pastoral care forms to families in a number of schools and parishes, providing a safe and dignified way of requesting support if needed.

“This support will come through regular phone calls, referrals to the parish priest, St Vincent de Paul services, CatholicCare and by counselling services,” Mrs Lemos said. “It will be like a hand reaching out to those who want to take hold”.

In a time where families are socially isolated, and the impact on their routines and livelihoods is changing regularly, Mrs Lemos said the dedicated Family Educator team is determined to continue providing pastoral care, links to outreach services, and keeping people connected.

“We encourage all families needing assistance – even if it’s just a listening ear – to get in touch. This is a challenging time for everyone and we’re here to support where we can”, Mrs Lemos said.

For referrals to support services, please ring your school and ask to be put through to your Family Educator or contact CCareline 13 18 19.

*Stop, Pray and Reflect (SPaR) is an opportunity for parents to gather, pray and reflect on God’s presence in their lives.

– Jude Thomas, Sydney Catholic Schools