CARES Employee Resource Group Helps Parents and Caretakers Connect at Newfront
As summer begins to wind down and families start looking toward the school year beginning again, many caretakers and parents have mixed emotions. For some, they may feel anxious about their children entering a new grade or school, and others may be ready to return to the school-time routine.
Principal and Commercial Insurance Broker Sheri Jamme knows these struggles all too well – her sons Jackson (11) and Julian (9) are both transitioning to new experiences this fall. “My older son starts true middle school with different teachers and periods, and my youngest is changing school as well. We’ll have some learning curves this year, but I’m excited to see them take on new responsibilities.”
Fortunately, at work, Sheri has some built in support through these bittersweet times. Newfront’s CARES Employee Resource Group (ERG), which stands for Caretakers & Allies Raising Emotional Support, aims to provide a safe space and platform for Newfront caretakers to connect, collaborate and receive communal support.
Studies show that an increasing number of children are experiencing mental health issues, especially since the pandemic began. However, “most kids are pretty resilient, and although they may express some concerns or separation anxiety, they are usually able to successfully navigate the transitions of a new school year,” says Ken Jones, a psychologist and director of behavioral health at Texas Health Arlington Memorial.
Undoubtedly, having access to communities and groups like ERGs can help parents and caretakers through these changes, according to Sheri.
“It’s always comforting to know people understand where you are coming from,” she said. “Having the CARES ERG shows Newfront’s commitment to supporting employees, understanding life challenges, and fostering community. I’m proud to work at a company that offers the opportunity to engage in these groups.”
Sheri, who joked she’s anticipating seeing “several kids that are now taller than me since school let out in June,” is looking forward to volunteering in her sons’ classrooms – and sharing her tales with fellow CARES ERG members.
“The challenges of today’s environment, especially since the pandemic, make it easy to feel disconnected, so it's nice to have a community to relate with,” she said. “When I am happy and my family is thriving I do my best work. I think it's important for all of us to feel connected and part of a community that cares about them.”
The CARES group is one of seven Newfront ERGs, including Amplify AAPI, which just launched in May.
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