While many of us are tucked safely in our own homes, staff at Ranch Ehrlo’s Family Treatment Program (FTP) and Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) continue to serve those in need.  

For some of the families in the programs, this means Skype or Facetime check-ins, or therapists coming by and talking over the phone from outside a window. These are the families who are at lower risk and have been able to address many of the challenges that come with this new situation.

“With other families – we’re in their homes multiple hours per day, at various times of the day, to ensure the safety of the family and provide the skills and tools they need. With some, the amount of time we’ve spent in their home has actually increased, because, like most of us, the families have been isolated from both formal and informal supports due to self-isolating,” explained Family Treatment Program manager Jordan Hubick.

With the loss of positive social community activities, this can be an even higher risk time for some families.

“It’s important for our staff to be in the family’s home to be assessing for risk, providing support and respite, and teaching new strategies,” he added.

The program has discontinued large parent and youth groups for now but has stepped up support in other ways.

“Our staff has been providing respite support, as well as educational support both in the family’s homes as well as at our offices.”

Staff has also started doing grocery shopping for families who have complicated health risks or simply don’t wish to go into stores and have been teaching families about how to disinfect their groceries when they arrive at the home.

“We’ve also been educating families about COVID-19, including what it is, the potential health risks, and ways to minimize their risks of exposure,” Jordan said.

“I cannot express how much staff have been doing for families to show their support and assist them in remaining together safely.  The level of creativity, compassion, and support we have on this team is amazing.  I feel proud to work with this dedicated and amazing team. At the end of this, I do think that the impact of COVID-19 will make us a stronger team as all staff members are seeing everyone selflessly step in despite their own worries or concerns,” Jordan concluded.

Ranch Ehrlo’s FTP and IFPS programs are designed to work with families as a unit, to keep children and families safe, and prevent out-of-home placement of children wherever possible.