CHS Response to COVID-19

Posted on March 16, 2020

Children’s Home Society of South Dakota is committed to helping mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spreading and to keep all of our children, families, and employees as healthy as possible. CHS has implemented our Pandemic Preparedness Plan and are following that plan along with guidance from our Medical Directors and various partners, including the State of SD and the CDC.

These policies are in place until March 28; however, we will continue to reassess the situation as more information about COVID-19 becomes available and any additional recommendations that will help mitigate the spread of the virus are made.

RESIDENTIAL CARE

  • Children placed at Children’s Home Society will not be allowed to leave Children’s Home Society with the exception for essential medical appointments and will not be able to receive visitors.
  • Until further notice, family members or other guests may not visit; however communication via phone calls are highly encouraged.
  • There will be no family therapy; no Big Buddy, School Buddy, or Surrogate Parent visits; no attorney of CASA visits; and no social worker visits from DSS.
  • There will be no off-campus activities for children.
  • Sunday School is suspended as are all volunteer activities.
  • All Master Treatment Plan Reviews will be held via conference call.

SCHOOLS

  • In response to Governor Kristi Noem’s state of emergency order for South Dakota and a recommended state-wide closure of South Dakota schools, Children’s Home Society has closed its Day School Program at Loving School as of the end of the school day on 3/13/2020.

CHILDREN’S INN

  • All guests will be screened, prior to admittance, with the following questions:
    • Have you been out of the country in the past 14 days?
    • Have you been exposed to anyone who has been exposed to the Coronavirus COVID-19?
    • Do you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
  • If any of the above questions are answered in the affirmative, the guest will not be admitted; however, other arrangements will be made for their safety.
  • If a guest should become ill with COVID-19 during their stay, they will be instructed on contacting their health care professional and given a room, at Children’s Inn’s expense, at a hotel.
  • All tours, trainings, meetings, Women’s Support Group and visitors are discontinued.
  • We are asking that no gift-in-kind donations be made during this time.

COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES

  • On-campus visitors for the following services are discontinued: PRIDE, Therapeutic Foster Care, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and Post Adoption. This includes the children and families served by these programs.
  • All PRIDE sessions will transition to online, including current and upcoming classes for the foreseeable future.
  • CAC will continue to see children and families but has screening questions in place prior to entry. (Have you been out of the country in the past 14 days? Have you been exposed to anyone who has been exposed to the Coronavirus? Do you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath?)
  • Bright Start employees will work from home and will not visit clients that answer yes to the screening questions. (Have you been out of the country in the past 14 days? Have you been exposed to anyone who has been exposed to the Coronavirus? Do you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath?)