During this time of uncertainty, we are writing in order to share the proactive steps we are taking in order to protect the children, youth and families that are served through the mental health programming at Oesterlen. We are also taking additional measures to protect staff and their families during this time. As many of you struggle to understand these myriad of changes and how they affect your families, we at Oesterlen want to thank you for the support you have shown over the years. Without each of you, we would not be able to protect the most vulnerable of society.
Given the critical nature of the work we provide for children across the state, we are required to remain open even when other businesses are able to allow staff to work remotely. Our staff maintain their dedication to the mission and ministry here at Oesterlen and ensure the safety and security of Christ’s children and families. As we move forward through the coming days and weeks this will certainly become more difficult due to staffing and funding. If you are able, please make any donation possible to allow Oesterlen to continue to maintain the outstanding services possible to those children and families that continue to be susceptible to mental health and health risks. Please visit https://oesterlen.org/make-an-impact/make-a-donation/donate-online/
Are you experiencing anxiety and unease during this time? Our therapists are available for a telephone or video appointment. Please, call us at 937-399-6101 x141. We are here to help during this time.
In order to protect each person under our care, effective immediately, we are enforcing the following:
Protecting Oesterlen Clients:
In person visits by our residential and foster care clients and their families are suspended until further notice. The only exception to this is if the county of custody mandates a visit. Face time and telephone visits are available and encouraged. All contacts with foster children and homes will be by telephone or FaceTime. Oesterlen foster care case managers will not do in person visits unless the county of custody mandates an in person visit. If a visit is mandated an individual will do an in person visit.
Community Counseling Center Appointments and Groups:
All clients of the Community Counseling Center will be offered, nightly reminder calls with the opportunity for Video-Conferencing or Tele-therapy. At this time we have cancelled all Out-Client Therapy Groups are until further notice. Individuals who participate in group programs are able to schedule individual therapy sessions with their therapist via Zoom, FaceTime or teletherapy during this time. Residential Groups may continue.
Universal Safety Precautions:
Oesterlen practices Universal Safety Precautions and will continue to do so in order to protect the health and wellbeing of the children and families under our care. Cleaning crews are conducting additional sanitization sweeps of all facilities throughout the day in order to ensure that all individuals that are in Oesterlen facilities remain as safe as possible.
Protecting Oesterlen Staff:
Illness and Monitoring:
We are asking all staff who are experiencing any virus symptoms or illness to stay home until they have been symptom free for at least 24 hours. Oesterlen staff are trained in Universal Safety Precautions and are reminded to continue to use proper hygiene procedures.
All Trainings are cancelled until further notice. This includes Pre Service Foster Parent Training, Monthly Foster Parent Training and OSY In-Service Training.
Staff who are immunocompromised or deemed necessary by their doctor will be able to work remotely. Should others need to work remotely they are able to make these arrangements through the Human Resources Department.
Protecting Our Community:
During the Spring, Oesterlen planned several events to engage our community on campus. Please note the following changes to our schedule. For updated formats and rescheduled events, please keep an eye on your email, the Oesterlen website (www.oesterlen.org) and our Facebook page for continued updates and new dates!
April 11 – Community Easter Egg Hunt – Cancelled
May 2 – Oesterlen 5K – Postponed – Date TBD for Late Summer/Fall 2020
May 8 – Oesterlen Plant Sale – Updated to an Online Plant Sale – Please stay tuned for online platform and how to purchase!
At this time any community meetings that were scheduled at Oesterlen will be rescheduled for a later date or updated to be a virtual/conference meeting. Details for these meetings will be sent to those participants involved.
These decisions are not made lightly and do not come easyily. Much of what has been done is in the best interest of the more than 1,000 children, youth and family that seek mental health care through the mission and ministry at Oesterlen throughout the year. It is thanks to you that these families and children are able to thrive. Please know, as the situation evolves we will continue to keep you updated with changes at Oesterlen.