Family Support Resources and Tips
Our Family Resources page provides links regarding public services, helping children cope with stress, food assistance, hotlines and much more.
2-1-1 CNY: This comprehensive resource connects people to resources throughout CNY for housing, utilities, food, mental health, substance abuse, family, health, finances and more. Simply call 211 or or visit the 211 CNY website to get answers to questions and help finding resources or getting connected to agencies that can help meet your needs.
- General Information
- Helping Children Cope with COVID issues
- Food Assistance
- Domestic Violence/Child Advocacy/Trafficking
- COVID19 and our Community
- Other Useful Resources
- Technology Assistance
ESM Counselors Available for Parents/Students: ESM elementary, middle and high school counselors are available to help families. Feel free to email counselors in any building or call the school.
- East Syracuse Elementary - Christie Jarvi: email email@example.com
- Fremont Elementary - Janel Herrington: email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Minoa Elementary - Carol Norris: email@example.com
- Woodland Elementary - Shelly Chizzonite: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pine Grove Middle School - Visit the PG Counseling Office web page for email addresses and other contact informaiton.
- ESM Central High School: Visit the CHS Counseling Office Web page for email address and other contact information.
Symptoms of Stress in Kids & How to Cope: Stress affects children of all ages differently. These four flyers highlight common symptoms kids exhibit at various ages and ways parents and caregivers can help them through challenging times.
Child psychiatrist on coronavirus stress: Keep a routine, listen to feelings, celebrate milestones: Dr. Geoffrey Hopkins answered questions about parenting during COVID-19 in this syracuse.com video.Role of Parents in Virtual Education: Article from Slate, a daily magazine on the web and podcast network.
Family Resources (Mostly Videos) For Pre-k to Gr. 5 and Gr. 6-12: Wide Open School is a free collection of the best online learning experiences for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense. This group gathers content and organizes it so families can easily find what they need. Topic areas include: Daily Schedule, Live Events, English Language Learners, Special Needs, Emotional Well Being, Life Skills, Field Trips, Get Moving and subject areas too. Most are kid-friendly video links!
- Pre-k to Grade 5 Resource homepage:
- Emotional well being (Pre-K to 5) with kid-friendly videos
- Grades 6-12 Resource homepage
- Emotional Well Being Gr 6-12
Onondaga County Government Covid19 Resource Page:
Responding To Our New Normal: A Resource Guide for Educators and Parents Facing Social Distancing and Remote Learning. This is a great resource resulting from a collaboration of School Psychologists, School Counselors, School Social Workers, and education professionals, coordinated by Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES. New Normal Resource Guide
ESM Counselor Offers Tips to Help Students Cope: News Channel 9 interviewed East Syracuse Elementary Counselor Janel Herrington about helping students cope during the State of Emergency. See the interview.
Help for Children with Heightened OCD due to the Coronavirus: Renee Jain, founder of GoZen.com interviews child therapist, Natasha Daniels, on how the fears of the virus exacerbate OCD and what to do about it.
National Association of School Psychologists: This group has created a resource page titled “Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The US Centers for Disease Control provides news, information and resources related to the global pandemic on its website. The CDC also offers tips for parents and guardians who are helping children navigate through these unsettling times: New York State Office of Mental Health:
Exceptional Family Resources: Partners with individuals with disabilities and their families, providing services, information, advocacy and other supports to enhance lives and foster community acceptance. 2019-2020 Resource Manual for Onondaga County - pdf (scroll down, it is close to the bottom of the page)
- ESM free Breakfast and Lunch Program: ESM has been notified that the free meal program providing breakfast and lunch for ALL children 18 and younger will continue through the entire 20-21 school year. Meals will be free for all of ESM’s in-person learners on the days they are at school. For the days students are not in school, families can pick up free “grab & go” meals Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at their choice of three sites — ESM Central High School, Minoa Elementary or East Syracuse Elementary from 9-10 a.m. Further details & how to sign up for grab & go meals.
- St. Matthew's Food Pantry in East Syracuse: Tuesday & Thursday 10 a.m. - noon, at their new location, 600 W. Manlius St., next to Family Dollar in the village of East Syracuse.
- Heaven's Pantry in Minoa: Normal hours on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. More information on Heaven's Pantry.
- Rescue Mission: To go meals are available for anyone in the community who needs nutrition at 7 am, 11 am, and 4 pm More Details
- Peace Inc. Food Pantry: Open Monday and Friday from 9-12 p.m. at 200 Beach St., Syracuse, 315-470-3300.
- Comprehensive List of Telephone Hotlines in CNY:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. 1-800-273-8255
- 2-1-1 CNY: Comprehensive resource connecting people to agencies throughout CNY for housing, utilities, food, mental health, substance abuse, family, health, finances, more. Call 211 to get questions answered & get connected to agencies that can help meet your needs.
- Hotline for essential workers who are having difficulty getting food/supplies: 315-218-1987
- DSS mandatory/assistance services (TANF/SNAP/HEAP etc.) are open and working, mostly via phone 315-435-2700.
- Hotline for essential workers who need child care: 315-446-1220
- Veteran’s Service Agency: 315-435-3219
- New York State Emotional Support Line staffed by specially trained volunteers who can help you. Call 1-844-863-9314.
- 24/7 emotional support for frontline health care workers: Text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to access the services. This is through New York State in partnership with the Kate Spade New York Foundation and Crisis Text Line. The NYS Department of Financial Services will require New York-regulated health insurers to waive cost-sharing, including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, for in-network mental health services for New York's front-line essential workers.
- NYS Domestic Violence Hotline (To help find shelter or relocate) 1-800-942-6906 Locally, call Vera House 24/7 number: 315-468-3260 * If you are in eminent danger, call 9-1-1
- McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center Report Abuse or need assistance: 315-701-1966
- Trafficking and Exploitation Hotline: 315-218-1966
- Technology Helpline: ESM has set up a dedicated helpline phone number for parents or students to call if they are having general technology problems. Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. parents and students can call 315-434-3024. Or call anytime and leave a message.
- Online Teaching and Learning Tools: Includes many video tutorials for using Google Classroom, Google Hangouts, FlipGrid, Nearpod, PearDeck, etc. by Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES.
- Study.com: Resource Page for parents and teachers about learning at home.
- Google Hangouts is a communications tool that allows members to participate in text, voice calls, or video chats, either one-on-one or in a group. Easily invite participants using email addresses from directory.
- Google Meet Google Meet is a video conferencing app that many teachers are using with students. It shows a "join" button for users to connect to the meeting and provides options to mute and turn off the video during the meeting.
- Upstate Online Corona Virus Assessment Tool: this chatbot will use user responses to assess risk of having COVID19 and offer a variety of next steps (which may include contacting your physician or the triage hotline):
- Upstate Public Triage line (from previous days); if you have a primary care provider call them first: 315-464-3979
- Map of where cases within the County are confirmed (updated daily)
- NYSDOH interactive tracking map positive case by day state wide and by county
- Information from NYS on unemployment, Paid Family Leave, federal recovery checks, and other federal assistance
Health Insurance: Resources for families who may need health insurance due to the state of emergency.
Child Care for other Families: It may be a challenge to find child care due to COVID-19 related program closures, however the Office of Children & Family Services is trying their best to support families to find the high quality child care that they need. If you are a parent or caregiver who needs child care, please complete this parent need for child care survey. Based on the information you provide about your job, employer, number of children, and financial need, OCFS may be able to help you find the child program you need. Parent Child Care Survey.
Families without Internet: Families without internet access for online, distance learning are eligible for internet services for 60 days free of charge through Spectrum. After that the family will be billed for service. This offer only applies to families who have not had Spectrum Internet within the last 60 days. Spectrum encourages families to try to call first thing in the morning to avoid delays at 1-844-488-8395. If you need further assistance, contact Cheryl West, ESM Coordinator for Youth Development & Leadership, at 315-434-3010.
Telephonic Mental Health:
- 2-1-1 (Connect over the phone with local supports)
- Statewide Hotline for free mental health services:, 1-844-863-9314 (8 am-10 pm 7 days/week) Call to schedule an appointment
- Postpartum Resource Center of NY Moms supporting moms: 855-631-0001 (hours expanded to 7 days/week 9am-5pm)
- Liberty Resources: Helps people deal with the physical, emotional, and social issues focusing on wholehearted health. They are accepting new patients/referrals through telehealth 315-472-4471 or online
- ARISE: Helps people navigate services for those with disabilities They are accepting new patients/referrals, call 315-472-3171.
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Teaching Through Coronavirus (great info for everyone caring for youth in this time)
- University of Maryland School of Social Work: a number of articles and tip sheets related to working with families, children, clients in the time of COVID-19
- Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreak from Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)
- Talking with Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks from Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)
- Free Lawyer Hotline: 1-877-777-6152
- Hiscock Legal Aid Society (Syracuse) 315-218-0141
- Central NY Legal Services: 315-703-6500
- Onondaga County Volunteer Lawyer Project: 315-471-3409
- RISE is committed to assisting the diverse refugee and immigrant communities in Onondaga County with programs targeted at promoting self-sufficiency through employment, education, and economic empowerment. Emergency Phone Number: 315-214-4480 available 24/7 (follow prompts for language needed, as volunteers arise other languages may be added)
- Press 1 for English/general inquiries
- Press 2 for Nepali
- Press 3 for French, Swahili, and Lingala
- Press 4 for Somali
- Press 5 for Kizigua
- Press 6 for Karen and Burmese
- Press 7 for Kinyarwandan, Kirundi
- Press 8 for Arabic