Supporting Children, Youth, and Families in Greater Vancouver since 1990

COVID-19

Hollyburn Family Services COVID-19 Updates

May 26, 2020

Hollyburn in Phase 2 of BC’s Restart Plan

As of Tuesday, May 19, we started a phased reopening of our head office with just a few people at a time working in the office on a rotating basis.  However, in order to keep our staff and clients safe, the office remains closed to the public.  If you are in need of assistance, please call our main number 604-987-8211 and you will be directed where to call for assistance.  Messages on our general delivery mailbox are being promptly returned, and our teams are of course always monitoring their emails.

We are continuing to offer outreach support to victims of domestic violence, vulnerable seniors and youth, through phone, secure videoconferencing, or, where necessary, in person with physical distancing and safety protocols.  We are continuing to provide counseling services to families and individuals by phone and secure videoconferencing.

We continue 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 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 are being conducted by video-conference.

As with everyone else, we are evaluating the future, both short-term and long-term.  We’re looking at new and creative ways to support our clients, deliver services, use office space, and communicate with each other and with our clients and stakeholders.  Out of the heartbreak and sacrifice of the pandemic, we are hopeful of forging new pathways together in a changed world.

Alan Kwinter, Executive Director


May 4, 2020

COVID-19 Update from the Executive Director   

As an essential service provider, Hollyburn Family Services is responsible for preserving the health and well-being of our clients and providing the necessities of life to those in our care.  This is a responsibility which we at Hollyburn have taken to heart for the last 30 years.  It’s what we do and it’s who we are – even in the midst of a global pandemic.  It is now over 90 days since the first COVID-19 cases appeared in British Columbia.  Fortunately, through disciplined adherence to strict health guidelines and social-distancing practices, all Hollyburn Family Services programs continue to operate, and staff and clients remain safe and healthy.

Hollyburn has always been a nimble and flexible organization.  Confronted by the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff have found creative and innovative ways to continue to support our clients, whether it’s from our homes using the latest technology or in the community, practicing safe-distancing. The entire Hollyburn team is working incredibly hard and deserves recognition.  Front-line program staff, outreach workers, the administration and management teams, and the leadership group are all adapting to this unprecedented health crisis, finding new ways of working while continuing to support our vulnerable clients.  But we recognize that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we will only make it to the finish line unscathed if we all continue to maintain high standards of hygiene and take personal safety precautions.  We cannot afford to let down our guard.

There is no way to know how long this current crisis will last, but we expect that, in the near future, there will be no return to “normal” as we knew it.  As we look further down the road, we anticipate that the COVID-19 pandemic will have changed the way we deliver our services.  We have learned how critical it is to be vigilant around maintaining our high standards of health and safety.  We have learned to incorporate new technology into our internal communications and how we access information.  Our team members are learning how to be less dependent on office space and are finding new and creative ways to support our clients.  And perhaps most importantly, we are learning to be kinder and more patient with each other and ourselves.

We can all be thoughtful about how we respond to the constant changes taking place in the world around us and adjusting to the “new normal”. Together, we can make our homes, workplaces, communities, and country better and brighter when we remain calm, think positive thoughts, smile at everyone we meet, and lend those in need of aid our assistance.

Alan Kwinter, Executive Director


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