LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With schools closed, it can get overwhelming juggling parent duties all while trying to fill a teacher’s shoes. Jefferson County Public Schools is launching a CARE hotline to support them.
"It's very stressful being teachers and trying to work from home," JCPS parent Brandon Bridwell said. "[A hotline] would be a good resource to have to be able to call somebody."
Starting at 9 a.m. Monday, families can call 313-CARE (2273) for assistance and referrals related to medical services, drug, and alcohol addiction help, homelessness, and basic needs such as food, housing, and utilities.
"I am an essential worker so it's just kind of been challenging juggling who can watch them, who cannot and daycares being closed," Bridwell said.
Bridwell counts on his mother to look after his seven-year-old and four-year-old.
"Everybody loves their kids, but it can be stressful too when you're around your kids 24/7," he said.
Specialist of community support services, Ben Langely said phone calls to the CARE hotline will be answered by up to 25 school officials like counselors, mental health practitioners, and nurses.
"This is just one creative way that we can virtually connect with our families," Langely said. "We've broken the shift down into increments of two hours and so we will have a rotation of our staff that will be rotating through these lines constantly."
The staff will also refer families to resources related to domestic violence, unemployment, and addiction.
"We will have caring people to really be there for our families, to be that listening ear and to help them navigate these uncertain times that we're going through," Langely said.
The line will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, until May 29. The district will evaluate the response and determine if there’s a need for it to continue over the summer and into next year. Families can continue to call 313-HELP for general JCPS-related questions.