Hello, kindred friends.
I know your email box is already full of announcements. I ask you to read one more, please. It might be important for a friend, neighbor, or family member. Here goes.
When your main mission is building empathic relationships, and when people rely on you for court-ordered services, dealing with a public health outbreak like COVID-19 might seem complicated.
But, actually, it isn't.
Like you, the board and staff at Kindred Place have been monitoring the news and carefully considering public health recommendations to protect our clients, our staff, and the community.
We've also been in contact with the courts to understand what we can offer as alternatives to in-person services and still meet the requirements of court orders.
The last thing we want to do is add a burden or barrier to families who are already struggling.
This afternoon, we learned that courts are willing to allow remote services as an alternative to in-person sessions. Within a few hours of that announcement, our board and leadership team had a clear understanding of what we must do. Here's our plan:
Beginning Monday, March 16, Kindred Place will begin offering counseling and educational services by telephone and video conference, using a HIPAA-compliant platform. We will also, on a case-by-case basis, continue to offer in-person sessions but with restrictions to protect our clients, our staff, and their neighbors and families.
Our Co-Parenting seminar will continue as scheduled on Saturday, March 14, with some limitations. But starting Monday, March 16, all in-person sessions, classes, and groups will be suspended with case-by-case exceptions only.
Our counselors will be contacting current clients to make arrangements, and we'll continue to accept new clients who call on their own, who are referred by courts, and who are referred by other organizations.
If you have questions about these changes and how they affect you, I hope you'll email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a parting thought, I ask that you consider the words "social distancing." While this may be the phrase of the moment, and an important concept for public health, we would be wise to consider what it means for people who are already isolated, afraid, and disconnected.
In words that I'll borrow and amend: Every hand that we don't shake must become a phone call or email instead. Every embrace that we avoid must become words, by phone or video chat, of warmth and concern. The physical distance we place between ourselves and others must become a conscious thought of how to help, when the need arises.
Thank you for supporting our work and for maintaining a compassionate, kindred community as we navigate these challenging times, together.