Perspectives continues to follow advisories from the Rhode Island Department of Health and State leadership to monitor the COIVD-19 pandemic and to make decisions about the best steps to take concerning the individuals supported, their families and our employees.
Perspectives continues to follow advisories from the RI Department of Health and State leadership to monitor the COIVD-19 pandemic and to make decisions about the best steps to take concerning the individuals supported, their families and our employees.
Our Response Team
The Latest Updates
UPDATE: Friday, January 29, 2021
Adult Residential Services
Our last update outlined the agency's plan for individuals in our 24-hour residential settings in regard to visitation with a set time line that brought us to the week of 1/25/2021. As some of you are aware, we have begun the vaccination process. At this time, we are working with the state to vaccinate with care and efficiency. The first mandated focus is on congregate care (group home) residents 65 years or older and their housemates. Our dedicated Direct Support Professionals, leadership, clinicians, families and nursing team are working together to offer and provide vaccines to all. It is our sincere hope that these efforts will be a great step towards renewing our path to recovery as a provider, state and nation.
As a necessary step to limit the risk of transmission, we will continue to suspend non-essential visitation for the next 3 weeks, which brings us to the week of 2/22/21. At that time, we will know how many residents and support staff have had their second round of vaccinations. We will look to Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH), the Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Governor's office for continued guidance and will communicate updates. In addition, we will continue to closely track trends in COVID-19 cases and tests as well as the vaccination progress, weigh risks and benefits with care and make changes if we find circumstances are favorable.
As we have, we continue our efforts towards keeping everyone safe and healthy. We have many remote activities and focus on quality of life. We continue to encourage dishes/treats from families, schedule games, activities and phones calls/Zoom with friends & family, movie night, etc. All other ideas or special requests are welcome.
In the event of special clinical circumstances, including compassionate care, as BHDDH states, we will work with individuals and families to design a safe plan where visitation can occur outside of the facility under strict guidelines during the next 2 weeks.
The Employment Services Department continues to offer its full compliment of employment services including job development, coaching and retention. We are proud to support the many Rhode Islanders with disabilities who have worked throughout the pandemic in essential jobs at our local hospitals and grocery stores. We are actively accepting referrals, including individuals who self-direct their services. Our services are offered both remotely and in-person and we develop individualized plans to best support an individual’s needs and preferences. Both our team members and the individuals we support stay safe through mask-wearing and PPE, regular hand washing, maintaining distance, and individualizing our supports. For individuals receiving funding through the Office of Rehabilitation Services, we are following their established process for individuals who are interested in in-person and community-based support. We continue to support individuals who chose to take a leave from work during the pandemic and support them to maintain their connection to their employer so they can return to work when they are ready.
We continue to enroll individuals in the Person-Centered Supported Employment Performance Program (PCSEPP) 3.0. The program is designed for individuals who have not worked in competitive community employment. With a focus on Customized Employment, PCSEPP 3.0 explores an individual’s personality, interests, skills, talents, preferences, relationships that inform their ideal conditions for employment. The program has many highlights, including introducing person-driven technology, access to a Peer Navigator, and partnerships with Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, Able Opportunities, and the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston.
If you are interested in learning more about PCSEPP 3.0 or have any questions about our update, please contact Adrienne Tipple, Director of Employment Services, at email@example.com or 401-374-7321.
Independent Living & Adult Day Services
Adult Day & Independent Living Services continue to adhere to all recommendations that have been in place since the spring as well as those that came with the Pause: limiting social gatherings to those with whom people live, in addition to use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), sanitizing surfaces & frequent hand washing. We are fortunate to still be able to provide PPE to our employees but are seeing supplies impacted by the recent increase in COVID positive cases.
We have successfully met with all individuals & families in Adult Day Services about the changes to the management structure and encouraging the use of remote support, self-directing services and/or purchasing technology to enhance quality of support. In particular, remote support has been very successful in keeping people connected and we have broadened its scope across many levels. Please remember that if you would like more information on any of these, you can contact your Service Coordinator.
Lastly, we’d like to acknowledge that in spite of this being a very difficult time, we are thankful for the commitment put forth by individuals we support, their families & our employees. We enter 2021 with an optimistic outlook and hope for a healthier year.
Youth & Family Services
Perspectives Youth and Family Services sincerely extends warm wishes during this fall season as we approach the holidays. As you are aware, the positivity rate of COVID-19 continues to be of concern throughout Rhode Island. Now more than ever, we are asking for continued diligence with all of our safety protocols as we continue to provide our array of home and community based treatment.
At this time, the YFS division (HBTS, PASS, TSS, EI, Children's Residential) continues to provide in-person and tele-health direct services. Community access is occurring for locations approved by agency and family, and in full accordance with all guidelines from the RI Department of Health. Staff are permitted to work across programs if they are cleared by the daily health screening and follow all agency policy and guidelines from the RI Department of Health. Additionally, it is required that all families who receive in-person direct support complete the health screening for all members of the household prior to staff arriving for shift each day. In addition to the daily health screenings, staff and family must adhere to our written COVID protocols regarding mask wearing, disinfecting, transportation, and social distancing.
With the recent spike in COVID 19, we request the following:
- Family members wear masks for all in-person conversations with staff and team during shift time.
- If the family member needs to provide guidance, training, or support during shift, we require that they wear a mask and remain 6 feet in distance (unless it is an emergency).
- If it is safe to do so (windows have screens, child is not an elopement risk, etc.), windows and doors may be opened to increase ventilation and air flow.
If the following safety protocols cannot be adhered to consistently, we will need to complete all treatment for the child and family in a tele-health model only and suspend any in-person direct services.
The daily health screens, adherence to all protocols, and consistent honest communication are imperative to safely moving forward with treatment within our programs. It is truly a full team and family effort, and we appreciate your cooperation and support.
Rhode Island On Pause November 30th through December 13th
Beginning November 30, Rhode Island will be hitting Pause for two weeks. The Pause is intended to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 by dialing down overall mobility and reducing social gatherings. These reductions are key to stemming Rhode Island’s recent increase in cases and hospitalizations over the winter months.
Congregate Care Visitation Guidance
Kathryn Power, Director of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH) is strongly recommending that all congregate care residences increase visitor restrictions. This recommendation is made in response to the increasing number of individuals diagnosed with COVID19 globally, and in Rhode Island, at the onset of the influenza respiratory illness season.