People – Passion – Professionalism: Staff experiences during the pandemic
Nicole Fargo Nosich, Associate Director
How do you ensure programs are running smoothly in a chaotic environment during a pandemic when you’re sheltering at home with an infant? CSA Associate Director Nicole Fargo Nosich offers this unique perspective on what it’s been like working with her team to flex, pivot and stretch to meet skyrocketing client needs.
“This pandemic has been a marathon, not a sprint. In the beginning, there was a lot of adjustment needed to run the agency during this crisis. Although we developed a system to help our clients through the initial rapid influx of requests, the need did not slow and it still has not slowed. The shutdowns have taken an economic toll on our clients and we see everyday that they are stressed and living in a world of uncertainty.
This pandemic has asked us all to push ourselves to ensure people are getting services. I did my best to ease the burden of those having to operate an agency in crisis mode by making myself available to hear staff vent and provide feedback on improving stress levels. I also started to keep nontraditional hours to make myself available to respond to crises. At one point, I found myself with my baby and husband in the car, dropping off food to someone who was in quarantine on Thanksgiving weekend.
Seeing the perseverance that clients and the CSA staff have had during this crisis has been remarkable. Everyone is incredibly strong and they are sticking this out. Our clients are great advocates for their needs and many know that our team is doing everything they can to help. The CSA team, even though they are exhausted, continue to do the work every day. It is truly one of the most inspirational times I have ever seen in my tenure at CSA.”