A Letter from President Deb Voth to Families
In this uncertain time of change and challenges, I want to bring you up-to-date on what Rainbows has done to help protect the children and families we serve as well as our staff. Our Leadership Team is working diligently to keep abreast of the information being shared in so many ways. It is a challenge to keep up with all of it and know what the facts truly are.
Governor Kelly’s Order has 26 exceptions to the “Stay-At-Home” provision for Essential Businesses. The services that Rainbows provides fall within the list of Essential Businesses.
We believed this is how it would be, and frankly, are very relieved that we can continue providing services to children and families and keep our employees working. We are thankful we can carry on – although in a different manner for most programs.
Here is how each of the programs is functioning at this time. Our goal is to limit face-to-face contact in order to help keep children, families and staff safe.
• Early Care and Education Services at Kids’ Point - While the “Stay-at-Home” Order restricts group gatherings to 10 people or less, we have received clarification from Sedgwick County Health Department and Kansas Department of Health and Environment that the restriction to 10 people in child care settings “does not apply to licensed child care facilities”. We are to follow what our license states. Therefore, we will continue to provide early care and education as long as possible.
• Autism Services – Autism services continue one-on-one at Kids’ Point and in the family home.
• Mental Health Services - All but one of our Mental Health staff are working remotely. They are calling on families with whom they work and providing tele-therapy via technology. One of our Mental Health Assistants continues working with children in our Early Care and Education Center at Kids’ Point.
• Community Based Education and Training Services - These therapists and teacher are working remotely by calling families and providing tele-therapy for the children.
• Targeted Case Management - All but one of the TCM staff are working remotely. Some of the federal and state regulations have been “loosened” which allows TCMs to do a lot of their work on the phone for their families instead of doing it face-to-face.
• Specialized Foster Care - Staff in this program are calling and checking on these families remotely.
• Bright Beginnings Infant/Toddler Services in Butler County – All of these staff are working remotely. Staff are calling families and doing tele-therapy via technology.
• Infant/Toddler Services of Sedgwick County – All of these staff are working remotely. They, too, are calling families and providing tele-therapy via technology.
• Family Support Services – All of our Direct Service Professionals are working in individual family homes in order to provide care needed by our families. Families need this help even more due to children not being in school. We are trying to limit the number of staff who are going into each individual family home. At this time, we are not having center-based services at Kids’ Cove. We continue to hire staff for this program. Five of the staff are working in the office taking phone calls and scheduling care for families. Their work stations have been distanced from each other.
• Camp Woodchuck – We are still hiring staff for Camp Woodchuck this summer and taking applications from families. We are hopeful we will be able to still provide this much needed program.
Because of the population Rainbows serves, we are required to continue programs in almost every department regardless of what is going on around us. These requirements stem from numerous governmental entities including Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Federal Department of Education, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, and Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Access to facilities is limited. Currently we are not having volunteers onsite and no community tours are being given. We have mounted more hand sanitizing stations in all three of our facilities. Sanitizing of surfaces has increased. We take the health and safety of each and every family seriously and are taking precautions that we can.
How can you help?
• Tele-therapy helps Rainbows reach our funding requirements. If you have suspended tele-therapy for your child under five, consider asking about starting these services so your child can continue making developmental progress. We really need your help with this.
• Continue to communicate with your provider or therapist during this time. We want to help your family by being available, being a listening ear, and helping to get you connected to the services you need during this time.
• If someone in your family is sick and you receive services in your home or your child attends Early Care and Education at Kids' Point, please cancel services with your in-home provider or keep your child home from Early Care and Education at Kids' Point until individuals in your home are well. We want to do our best to keep you and our staff healthy.
• Support Rainbows through a financial gift if you can. The transition of services to online and having employees work remotely comes at a price. Every donation matters. Give online at RainbowsUnited.org.
Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we work in the current situation and use new procedures with the safety of your family and our staff in mind.
Deb Voth, President