March 19, 2021
An Update on COVID-19 from the Health Program
All Fry Foundation Health grantees are offering virtual services to serve staff and patient safety and maintain access to services. The Juvenile Protective Association is an example of a strong grantee that has adapted its community and school-based mental health services offered to children and their families who are suffering from trauma. They have excellent clinical and evaluation practices, and engage parents for on-going consultation and therapeutic services. Therapy focuses on mitigating the impact of abuse, improving communication, fostering positive parent-child attachment relationships, enhancing the development of children, and preventing future maltreatment of children. It also offers consultation to teachers and principals on how to identify underlying causes of youth behavior and how to be aware of nuances of behavioral changes in the classroom as a result of individual and group therapy. Since the start of the pandemic, their services have moved from site-based to virtual platforms utilizing FaceTime, Zoom calls and emails.
They have maintained engagement with approximately 75% of students on the caseload overall; more senior therapists averaged 90% engagement. They continue to assess children’s progress in individual therapy by noting improvements in mood, behaviors, peer relationships, focus in the classroom, positive engagement in classroom activities, and whether a child's negative behaviors have improved. Since the "classroom" experience is different with teachers and students on-line, JPA’s evaluation team is taking into account that perceived changes may take time to see since teachers are in the classroom to notice small, but perhaps meaningful, changes. Therapists and interns are providing additional help to parents and teachers experiencing mental health needs while coping with the pandemic.