Hollyburn Family Services COVID-19 Update
March 27, 2020
COVID-19 Update from the Executive Director
Business as “Unusual”
First and most important, a huge thank you to our dedicated teams who have continued to provide services as our world changes around us. We see front-line workers at our residential programs show dedication, courage, resilience, and creativity in meeting the challenges of serving vulnerable children, youth and adults even during increasing restrictions on mobility, activities and supplies. We see our counselling and outreach staff adapt to serving families and individuals in need through technology. We see our administrative team learning new ways to support front line workers and programs from their homes, even while caring for children and ill family members. And especially heartwarming, we see our staff “care-mongering” to relieve anxiety, drop off food and games to staff in isolation, and overall support each other.
We have made the difficult decision to close our head office as of March 30, 2020 in order to best protect our staff. If you call our main number 604-987-8211, you will be directed where to call for assistance, and you can always leave a message on our general delivery mailbox. Someone will be regularly checking messages and returning phone calls. Our team is of course always monitoring their emails.
We are continuing to hire front line staff who have experience and training to work with children and adults with special needs and at-risk youth. Please visit our job postings on Indeed.ca for more information. Interviews will be conducted by video-conference.
As part of our pandemic response plan, we are continuing to maintain strict disinfection and sanitation protocols at all our programs. Staff who are ill, showing symptoms of illness, or self-isolating consistent with BC Public Health requirements must stay home until they are cleared to work. We are restricting visitors to our residential programs in order to minimize exposure to our clients and staff.
We will continue to update our stakeholders and community as the need arises. Stay healthy and look after one another.
Alan Kwinter, Executive Director
March 20, 2020
Hollyburn Family Services Message from the Executive Director
We hope you are all staying healthy and positive during these unprecedented and uncertain times with the spread of Covid-19. We want you to know that we are taking extra precautions right now to ensure continuance of our services and protection of our staff and clients. Essential services staff are working from all sites while others are working from home where possible. Those based at our head office are working from home and are able to answer their main office phones through technological connections and will respond to you as always, as quickly as possible.
The mental and emotional health of our clients and community are especially important now, so we are continuing to offer counselling services by phone or video-conference.
We are hiring front line staff who have experience and NVCI, Mandt and ABA training to work with children and adults with special needs and at-risk youth. Please visit our job postings on Indeed.ca for more information. Interviews will be conducted by video-conference.
The health and safety of our clients, staff, and community are paramount, so we have made some changes to how we are providing our services, including:
- Our residential programs are maintaining strict disinfection and sanitation protocols consistent with current BC, Canada, and WHO public health standards, including frequent disinfection of all services and hand-washing protocols.
- Conforming to Social Distancing requirements.
- Staff who are ill or showing symptoms of illness are required to stay home until they are cleared to return to work consistent with BC public health standards.
- Most of our head office team is working from home, with only a skeleton presence at the office. Our head office is not currently open to the public, but only by appointment.
- Our counselling services are being offered by phone or through Zoom video-conferencing.
- Outreach services are, wherever possible, being offered by phone.
- The Central Intake line for Family Support remains active.
We have made the difficult decision to suspend some of our services until further notice in order to minimize exposure of children, parents, staff and the community. These services include:
- WIRED classroom employment training for youth and young adults. Participants are working remotely with employment support staff. Outreach services will continue to be offered by phone or online.
- In-person foster parent and parent training and education sessions. Foster Parents will be offered continued support online and by phone.
The situation locally and globally continues to evolve on an ongoing basis. We will continue to update our stakeholders and community as the need arises. Stay healthy and look after one another.
Alan Kwinter, Executive Director