Committed to Our Community During COVID-19
Hillside Family of Agencies has responded to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic by redoubling our efforts to serve vulnerable youth and families in the communities we all call home.
- Our direct-care teams are on the watch for COVID-19 symptoms among youth in residential treatment, and following all safety protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health.
- With Hillside schools and Day Treatment centers closed, our education teams and residential treatment staff are helping youth receive consistent access to learning opportunities.
- Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection Youth Advocates have adapted their engagement with students and families to support new homeschooling arrangements, while following all CDC and DOH safety guidelines.
- Visitations have been suspended at all Hillside campuses, but technology tools are providing enhanced access to telehealth and video-conferencing applications that connect youth, families and Hillside’s clinical experts.
- Contingency planning has been developed to protect youth and staff in the event of a COVID-19 exposure among any member of the Hillside family.
- Approximately half of all Hillside employees are now working remotely via telecommuting technology to limit the spread of the virus.
- Employee benefits including flex time, EAP program supports and telehealth access have all been revamped to support our workforce during this challenging time.
- Hillside’s multidisciplinary Pandemic Response Team is working round-the-clock on policies and procedures that clear the way for staff to do their best work safely and effectively.
- Our leaders are working closely with county and state officials to provide leadership and guidance that informs the whirlwind regulatory changes required by the pandemic.
These adaptations and others are being constantly assessed for necessary changes in light of this evolving public-health crisis. The one unwavering element is the commitment of our people to Hillside’s mission, and providing vital services that our community has never needed more.
The regularly evolving role of technology in Hillside’s work dramatically accelerated, literally overnight, with the arrival of the pandemic. Use of Hillside’s TeleCare virtual conferencing tools has skyrocketed from approximately 60 sessions per month to 350 per day, enabling staff to maintain secure remote connections with youth and families. Meanwhile, nearly half of Hillside’s 1,800-person workforce successfully transitioned to remote-work scenarios in a matter of days. Leaders and staff are exploring how to apply lessons learned during this period to future service pathways.
For parents like April Coffey, whose son Anthony has received virtual support in remote sessions from his Hillside youth care professional during COVID, these innovations have made all the difference. “It would be difficult juggling all this and having to leave the house and meet the providers face-to-face,” she said.
You can support technology innovations that help connect youth and families to much-needed services. Donate Now
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- New York State Department of Health
- Maryland State Department of Health
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