KidsAbility News & Updates

An Update from Linda Kenny - CEO, KidsAbility

Posted: Friday, May 22, 2020

 

It has been 10 weeks since KidsAbility made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend all face-to-face, in-centre appointments with our children, youth and families. Since then, our teams have continued to be there when families have needed us most—remotely—and continued to plan for the day when we could once again return to KidsAbility and our colleagues, clients and families face-to-face.

Last week, a Framework for Reopening our Province Stage 1 was released by the Premier outlining the first phase of businesses and organizations that could reopen in this stage. In the plan, children’s treatment centres (CTCs) were cited with the provision that organizations would be able to meet the new health and safety protocols and criteria to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

KidsAbility is working toward the gradual and safe approach to re-entry to our buildings and the graduated re-introduction of face-to-face service delivery. This will be a slow, measured and careful approach. We are beginning with a small team of staff who are identifying clients on a priority basis. We will begin to offer some in-centre appointments with all of the public health protocols in place. As we gain more comfort, we will increase the number of appointments we are able to offer. We are considering this stage of our re-opening as a “Tier 1” stage and estimate that we will gradually ramp up over the next 45 days or so in line with provincial directives.  

During this time, virtual appointments will continue to be the primary way in which our teams will work with children and families. As we have discovered together over these past 10 weeks, virtual appointments have provided a fantastic option to work on many of the same skills at home during this time of isolation during COVID-19 which we will continue to offer even after we come through this. We know that families will have varying degrees of comfort as they contemplate leaving their homes. We will continue to reach out to families on an individual basis as we design a customized plan for each child. Tier 1 face-to-face services are voluntary and considered on a prioritized basis. We recognize and appreciate that we have many clients who are thriving from virtual appointments but we also recognize that for many children this does not work. We are committed to working with each family to come up with a plan that makes sense for each unique situation.

Many of you also have questions about KidsAbility’s summer camps and programs. We do still hope to offer these in some form this summer but are working through all the details necessary including dates, locations and pricing as well as new health and safety measures required. We will provide further updates on this as soon as we are able but in the meantime should you have any questions, please reach out to Amanda Griffin, Firefly Therapy Services Supervisor, at agriffin@kidsability.ca.

Our priority continues to be the safety and wellbeing of staff, clients and our community and for this reason, KidsAbility will be cautiously monitoring any developments as we move forward into our Tier 1 re-entry and will continue to make the best decisions with the best information available guided by the recommendations from Public Health and our government officials. 

In addition to our already stringent adherence to health and safety measures, to reduce the risk as we begin resuming in-person, in-centre services, only clients with confirmed appointments will be admitted to our site. In the first few weeks, any appointments offered will be at our Waterloo site (we will work with clients to consider transportation needs).  We will be asking families to arrive no more than five minutes prior to their scheduled appointment and that only one parent/caregiver accompanies the child. Everyone will be screened prior to entry and will be asked to respect all physical distancing and associated safety guidelines. Our staff will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), appropriate for the work they are doing, in accordance with public health guidelines.

We understand that this news may bring a wide range of feelings for some as we begin the slow, measured and careful approach to gradually begin to re-introduce face-to-face visits as part of our Tier 1 re-entry. We will start small, with only staff and families who choose to be a part of this first stage of re-entry. Again, during this time, virtual appointments will continue to be the primary way in which our teams will continue to work with children and families on goals important to them. We will develop a plan that is respectful of your child’s needs and your family’s own level of personal comfort.

It has been a very challenging time for so many and we appreciate your patience, resilience and spirit of innovation as we discovered new ways together to continue to be here when families needed us the most.

If you have questions, please reach out to us at 519-886-8886 or 1-886-372-2259 to speak with a member of our team.

Stay safe and stay well.

 

Linda in script graphic 

 Photo of Linda Kenny CEO of KidsAbility

Linda Kenny

Chief Executive Officer

KidsAbility Centre for Child Development