May 18, 2020
I thought it timely to update you on recent developments and plans for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic at Northwood Children’s Services. After we sifted through the original statewide shutdown and figured out what our immediate crisis response would be, things have settled down a bit as we have established a rhythm and routine and have a better idea of what we are dealing with. Now, with the gradual opening up of travel and social restrictions, we are facing a new set of challenges to effectively meet our two primary goals – keeping our students and staff safe and continuing to provide a quality treatment experience for every individual we serve.
First of all, let me say that our staff have been fantastic! The choices they’ve made in their personal lives to keep themselves safe have enabled us to stay infection free. Their can-do attitude, flexibility and commitment have been awesome. The daily structure, maintaining the educational experience and creatively programming for the kids has been very effective in maintaining a positive therapeutic milieu. Our infection prevention procedures- daily temps, frequent cleaning, frequent hand washing, physical distancing, and masks- have worked fantastically so far. We have stayed engaged with more kids and families in the community through our telehealth efforts than we anticipated, and that is a very good thing. So far, so good.
Now, we are faced with the same challenge as society at large- how do we gradually open up our program, specifically to allow kids and families to connect again, while maintaining a safe living environment? The Executive Team has decided that we are going to allow on-campus visits of families starting next week. We are putting together the protocols- for example, distancing, masks, visits outside only, and schedules so we don’t have too many people in one space. We are discussing when and how best to facilitate visits home. It has been a long time- the kids and parents have handled this incredibly well, but it is time they connect again.
That’s it for now. Certainly, there will be more to come as this complex situation continues to evolve. We will have many decisions to make to create our ideal future in the face of a very different new normal. We will do our best to keep you informed. Please do not hesitate to reach out through our website if any questions arise.
Stay safe, and thank you for your support.
President & CEO