UPDATES FROM SUSAN GRIFFIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Welcome to the New Normal for All of Us

Hannah's House has remained open throughout the pandemic as we provide essential services. I am grateful to announce that we have had no COVID-19 issues among staff or clients! We now have 3 months of experience with maintaining a safe environment for all of our clients,  staff and volunteers.

We continue to follow the disinfecting procedures we followed throughout the Great Pause, and we are now adding plastic barriers that will be placed between clients and staff for each of our family rooms.

Cloth masks are available free to any client or family member who needs one. A neighborhood volunteer made 50 masks for our families as a donation. Debra Silva is definitely one of our heroes!

And now? Together we will discover together a new and positive path into our shared futures.

Policies:

  • No one with symptoms will be admitted to the building - screening questions are answered at the video monitor prior to admission. Applies to each person and any members of their household. This includes staff.
  • If a client is required to reschedule due to symptoms will not be rescheduled until they have been symptom free without medications for a period of 72 hours.
  • Masks must be worn by all persons while inside the facility.
  • Socially distancing markers are placed throughout the facility at 6 foot intervals and all persons are required to maintain that required distance.
  • All persons are required to wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering the facility.
  • When it is time for a family to eat together, the members will socially distance from each other as the masks will have to be removed.
  •  All toys, objects used during a session inside one of our Family Rooms must be placed in the basket by the door. Disinfectant sprays are in each room for parents who wish to disinfect during family time.

Basis for our C-19 policies as we move forward:

  • Evolving research on transmission of new virus
  • Local public health guidelines
  • San Diego County guidelines
  • San Diego City guidelines
  • California Judicial Administrative Rules of Court 5.20 - Safety and security are our first priority, followed closely by health and well-being of children, parents, and providers.

Symptoms that require staying at home

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing

Please email us at [email protected] with any questions you may have about specific needs.

Join with us to create thriving children, strong families, and healthy communities.

Susan Griffin,

MS MA, LMFT

Executive Director

GRATEFUL - THANKFUL - FULL HEART -  BLESSED - THANK YOUS!

First, to our parents and children for the absolutely amazing resilience they have demonstrated over the past 7 weeks as we have all worked together to adjust to life in the time of C-19.

Second, to every member of the Hannah's House Team of staff and volunteers, who have demonstrated compassion, a spirit of collaboration, and an enthusiastic "CAN-DO" attitude! I have been inspired by their tenacity and creativity.

And, finally, to our donors and community supporters who have contributed financially in support of continued family time for our court-ordered parenting time services; in-kind donations in the form of food, snacks, individual activity bags for the children, and handmade cloth masks for parents and children; and emergency operating funding to ensure we are able to continue our essential services to our communities for the duration.

WHAT'S IN A NUMBER

In just the month of April, we have proudly provided 238 services to our families and the community, served 752 people, and opened our doors every single day.

SPREAD THE WORD

We believe that the best gift that parents can give a child is the comfort and warmth of a positive relationship between parents, whether the couple lives together or separately. Our new Helpline is for all parents who find themselves feeling strain in the coparenting relationship - 1-833-OUR-KIDZ OR 1-833-687-5439. Please help us spread the word so we can bring our message of hope to even more parents working hard to be the best possible version of self for the child.

FREE VIRTUAL SUPPORT GROUPS - 1 FOR DADS & 1 FOR MOMS

Every Thursday evening, Dads gather in front of screens and join together to talk about challenges and successes in their parenting and co-parenting roles. On Friday evenings, it's the Moms turn. Email [email protected] to RSVP today!

And May the 4th be with you,

Susan Griffin,

MS MA, LMFT

Update from the Executive Director - April 14, 2020

We created this page on March 14, 2020, and here we are at the one month mark! Hannah's House Board, Human Staff, Animal Staff, and Volunteers are honored that we have this incredible opportunity to be of service during this world-changing pandemic. All of our lives are being reshaped everyday, and we are all learning together how to support each other. We experiment together, we learn together, and we build new 'muscles' for connecting, caring, and showing compassion. Safety, security, and well-being have new layers of meaning now at Hannah's House. We provide masks and gloves to any client in need. We ensure that we continue sanitizing and disinfecting our rooms and toys after each use.

We provide parent-child time in a variety of ways to ensure that children do not lose a critical relationship with a parent,

(1) Onsite in a private family room with the Provider - 6 foot distances are marked on the floor in every room and throughout the facility. MASKS REQUIRED FOR ALL PARTIES.

(2) Skype and phone supervised parent-child time with the parent and child in separate locations.

(3) Skype and phone supervised parent-child time with the child in a private family room with the Provider at the agency, and the parent in their home. (ideal for DVTROs, DVROs, and CPOs)

(4) Telehealth Conjoint therapy

(5) Telehealth parent-child observation and coaching

(6) Please email us if you have a specific need we may be able to meet: [email protected]

We are launching a new service later this week! The Hannah's Family Center Helpline for parents throughout our county. We will provide a variety of services, including free counseling/consultation; referrals and resources; and access to our free co-parenting workshops and support groups!  Stay tuned for the launch.

We have provided vital services to San Diego County families since 1988 and the new Helpline will take us into the future and allow us to serve more parents and children. Our vision for our community: Strong families. Thriving children. Healthy communities.

We are in this together and there is always reason for hope. We can all find hope as we continue to support each other with care, compassion and a commitment to discovering peaceful resolutions.

Susan Griffin,

MS MA, LMFT

April 7, 2020 Update from Executive Director

We start with a HUGE thank you to everyone involved with Hannah's House! Parents are working together to ensure that children stay in regular contact with both parents. It's wonderful to see so much positive parenting and cooperative coparenting! And thank you to volunteers, supporters and donors who are truly the wind beneath our wings!

And a big shout-out to a crew of US Navy volunteers who come in weekly to clean and wipe out our "Honey-Do" list in very short order. Believe me, they know how to clean and handle a task list!!  Of course, I am a Navy veteran so I might be prejudiced. GO NAVY!

Our dedicated staff are now dedicated to many new tasks:

  • Screening each client to make sure no one enters the facility to receive services if they have a cough or fever or traveled out of the country recently.
  • Wearing gloves as needed for disinfecting and sanitizing throughout our 4000 sq ft facility. Every child receives their own bag of toys, games, and activities that they leave at Hannah's House in a special spot between visits to ensure their health and safety!
  • Ensuring all staff and clients are wearing face coverings to keep each other safe (in case you don't know, infants and toddlers will not wear masks!). Here are several easy ideas to make your own. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/how-to-make-face-mask-diy_ca_5e8b8146c5b6e1a2e0f83728
  • Ensuring that the tape lines for 6 foot distance throughout the facility are refreshed as needed to maintain that social distancing.
  • Professionally greeting and serving each and every client we serve!

We are open and available for any family with a court order who is looking for a safe, professional and easy way to keep children engaged with both parents during this crisis. These services are critical for families with a history of domestic violence.

Children are Priority One!!

Email us today for information, intake and scheduling: [email protected]

Susan Griffin,

MS MA, LMFT

Thank you to all our supporters for your continuing support and kindness. Hannah's House has been inspired by the generosity of our community coming together. Thank you for continuing to help us change lives to build strong families, thriving children, and strong communities.

I also want to thank our families, our team of Volunteers, our staff, our Board of Directors, and our network of community partners and supporters. These are challenging times for so many and we are grateful to be able to work together to find the best solutions for all of you! We want to recognize many of our parents who are working together to make the best decision for your child/ren and families. This spirit of cooperation, trust and respect towards each other and on behalf of your child/ren is truly inspiring. We respect all parenting decisions during this public health crisis, and we continue to ensure that the services that you need are provided to you in a safe, secure, reliable, and professional manner.

Our Transitions Family program is offering all therapy and educational classes via TeleHealth methods, including basic phone sessions for those without digital, virtual capability. We are here to serve you so do not hesitate to let us know your needs. We are working on moving our Free Support Groups and Free Monthly Coparenting Workshop (3rd Saturdays 10-12) to an easily accessible online meeting platform. [email protected]

Orientations for new clients in our 2 Home Kids Program -- supervised visitation and safe exchange -- are available in person, by phone, and by online virtual platforms. Visit our website (https://hannahs-house.org/families-start-here/get-started/) to fill out your screening form which is automatically sent to the appropriate email for processing.

If you don't know who to email about a need, please email us at [email protected] and we will ensure someone responds promptly. Take good care of yourself and each other! And see our parenting tip for the day here.

Susan Griffin,

MS MA, LMFT

March 24, 2020

Since the SD Court is open for DV matters, we are available to assist those parents. Services available right now:

Safe exchanges - see the notice on this page for No Contact / No Entry procedures.

Waiting Room to Waiting Room safe exchanges are still available when 1 or both parents requests that service. Staff wear protective gear (masks and gloves) and maintain a 6' distance. All areas in the facility are cleaned and disinfected daily. We are still available for onsite visits for any parent who decides that is the best choice for your family - the person with legal custody decides. If legal custody is shared and you can agree, we will schedule. If there is no agreement, we will not proceed. We only allow 1 family to use a room and then close it to be cleaned and disinfected. We are limiting the number of visits daily to ensure that cleaning and disinfecting is completed. The norm is closure of a family room until the following day. Our landlord continues to do deep cleaning and disinfecting of the common areas.

We have waived our cancellation fee policies and require no documentation other than "for reasons related to COVID-19."

Please see the virtual options for parents who wish to continue the parent-child contact in a virtual visit in the presence of a professional supervisor.

Please reach out if you have any questions or need information. Email [email protected] and we will ensure that the right staff member connects you promptly.

Here is a list of sectors and workers that California has designated as “essential critical infrastructure workers”.

Hannah’s House falls into these categories:

p. 2 – “Workers who provide support to vulnerable populations to ensure their health and well-being including family care providers.”

“Workers who support food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals . . .”

p. 11 – “Workers that provide . . . in-home supportive services, child welfare, adult protective services and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals (including family members)”

“Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities and critical sector services.”

Susan Griffin,

MS MA, LMFT

March 20, 2020

In difficult and scary times, it is important that children don't lose the vital support of a relationship with one of their parents. Research tells us that the greatest risk to a child during a family breakup is the loss of a parent. We believe that the parent-child relationship is essential to the well being of children. And an important role of the Professional Provider of Supervised Visitation is to "enforce court orders for supervised visitation." We understand that some people may differ on this important topic. We believe it is important to make safe services available and will leave it to the parents to determine what they believe is best in safeguarding the well being of each child. Therefore, we have significantly modified our service delivery to ensure social distancing, aggressive cleaning, no contact exchanges, and symptom-screening for all staff and clients. We have 3 separate entrance doors at the back of our building so that Residential parents and their children do not have any contact with other families when they arrive for visitation and they can always wait outside until time for the visit. A reminder that we have offered Skype Virtual Visitation for any family needs that and have done so for over a decade.

SUPERVISED VISITATION

Parents may wait outside the building on the benches until time to start the visit. We have removed several chairs in the Waiting Rooms to ensure a 6' distance between people. All toys and books have been removed from both Waiting Rooms. We are putting together individual boxes of new items each child can use during visits. The box is to be left at HH. The Parent and Child will place the box in a spot where no one else will touch it between visits.

We are disinfecting rooms daily immediately after use. All rooms were deep cleaned daily starting Monday, March 2. We continue to disinfect all areas after use.

The Visiting Parent will be admitted to disinfect the Family Room to his or her satisfaction prior to the transfer of the child/ren for the visitation.All Family Rooms are large enough for Staff to maintain a 6-foot distance. We have an outside playground for our families and will allow only 1 family on the playground at a time. The playground, too, is disinfected after each use.

SAFE EXCHANGES

Hannah's House Safe ExchangesAll exchanges at Hannah's House will continue. They are conducted outside with Staff maintaining a 6' distance. The transfer is car to car if there is no DVRO DVTRO and the parents both agree; we will also conduct car to car if there is a DVRO/DVTRO and the parents agree to peaceful contact.

For Safe Exchange cases where no contact is possible, we have benches by each of the waiting room doors (front and back) and will transfer the child around the building with no contact between the parents.

In all situations, staff remains 6 feet away from parent and child.

Email [email protected] for updates and schedulig.

THERAPY AND CO-PARENTING CLASSES

Most of our therapy services and classes are available via TeleHealth - virtual online sessions. Please email [email protected] for information and scheduling.

Susan Griffin,

MS MA, LMFT

March 14, 2020

For now, Hannah's House WILL CONTINUE all safe exchange and supervised visitation services during this national emergency.

We have multiple resources for health and safety in place for our families. Our Professional Monitoring Staff will ensure that each parent has immediate and steady access to the necessary supplies beginning at the outside doors so there is no need to touch the video access point or the door with bare hands.

This is a decision we have thought about carefully as we work to balance client health with potential loss of parent-child contact during this difficult time.

Disinfectant supplies, gloves and boxes of tissue are available at stations placed throughout the agency and in each of our private family rooms.

Any child or adult with any symptoms of cold or flu will not be allowed into the facility until they are symptom-free. The same standard applies to our Hannah's House staff, interns, and volunteers.

Sadly, we have decided to temporarily suspend our Free Support Groups for Moms, Dads, and Children as well as our Free Monthly Co-parenting Workshop. These services are provided in relatively small spaces without the ability for social distancing.

We have made this decision because our first priority is the health of our community.

If any of our regular attendees or any Hannah's House client needs support between March 16 and April 6, please email us, [email protected], or call 858.300.2730, and we can arrange a virtual meeting,

Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, concerns, or need for counseling and support while we all pull together to minimize the risks of this pandemic to ourselves, our families, and our communities.

We know that meaningful connections with others who are challenged by family breakup and the potential loss of a parent-child relationship is vital. We will make resources available for virtual contact to the extent possible AND don't hesitate to talk with us and each other on the phone!!!

Susan Griffin,

MS MA, LMFT

NO CONTACT/NO ENTRY

SAFE EXCHANGE UPDATE

For parents who have orders for safe exchange and are established clients at Hannah's House, please note the following:

If you are concerned about coming into the facility, you have two options:

  1. You do not have to enter the building. You can ring the video monitor to let us know you are here and that you will wait under the protective covering over each of our Waiting Room doors. Staff will then conduct your safe exchange by walking the child or children around the building from the back Waiting room to the Front Waiting Room.
  2. In cases where there are no DTROs or DVROS or CPOs, each parent can email us and let us know that you want to do a vehicle-to-vehicle exchange. Parents are to park as far away from each other as possible and staff will conduct the safe exchange by escorting the child or children between the vehicles.

Email us at [email protected] to notify us or ask questions about these options.

LETTER TO OUR CLIENTS AND REFERRAL RESOURCES

Dear Valued Hannah’s House Guest,

As always Hannah’s House takes hygiene and safety very seriously, with the Coronavirus spreading across the world we want to reassure you that we are doing our part to keep you, your loved ones and our community as safe as possible in our facility.

When we first started gaining knowledge of how serious the COVID-19 virus was in mid February we ordered extra supplies of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, Lysol spray, reusable forehead thermometers with small packs of disinfecting wipes, large supply of medium and large latex gloves that staff and clients can use for any purpose that makes them safer and more comfortable, purchased 24 small empty bottles to fill with hand sanitizer and given to each staff member and volunteer so they can keep it and fill from our large hand sanitizer supply, purchased a large supply of empty travel bottles to provide free to clients so they can have a ready container to fill with hand sanitizer and carry with them, and implemented a mandatory wipe down of all computer equipment surfaces that are used by staff or volunteers.

We also purchased a supply of letter openers so that anyone who opens mail does not need to touch the seal, and have supplied an envelope sealer to each person who deals with incoming or outgoing mail.

In every room of the facility we have colorful CDC signs about hand washing:

Hannah’s House has a large volume of clients moving through the facility on a daily basis because of that we have always kept at least 1 bottle of hand sanitizer in each room and station in-between, because of the current COVID-19 concerns we have added more bottles and travel sizes around the facility.

We have cleaning crews who come in 5 days a week. All of the crews are volunteer groups from nonprofit programs who serve developmentally disabled adults or adolescents with emotional challenges; there is a Team Leader and 3-5 Team Members. Some have been with us for several years. These teams have allowed to us disinfect all toys and frequently touched surfaces daily, and then staff typically repeats cleaning of the frequently touched surfaces either at closing or opening each day. We have increased frequency of wipe downs of frequently touched surfaces like door knobs and faucets to several times a day.

We have a box of tissues available at each Video Monitor Call Box and Waiting Room entrance so visitors do not have to use unprotected fingers/hands to enter.We have disinfecting stations throughout the facility and in each Family Room: Hand Sanitizer, box of tissue and a small bottle of mild disinfecting spray.

We have had a contagion policy since we started services. The most common and easily transmitted is Pink Eye (conjunctivitis). We have signs posted, provide the information in Orientation, and require parents to disclose the condition or any other communicable condition to staff prior to coming to the facility for their scheduled service. It is a visit, we do not provide the service. If it is an exchange, we conduct it outside. If we discover that a child has been in a room and we were not made aware prior to the service that the child had a communicable condition, we shut down the room immediately and do a thorough disinfecting and then hold the room offline for as long as possible.

Furthermore we have created work-from-home capability for key Admin staff should that become necessary.

If you want to stay up to date with what is happening at Hannah’s House, Like and Follow Us on Facebook at @hannahshousesd where we have over 900 followers made up of clients, attorneys, former clients, and affiliated professionals who refer clients.

Thank you for working with us.

Virtual Visitation Option

Hannah's House offers Virtual Visitation via Skype, DUO, Zoom, and Hangouts Meet. We have provided this service to clients for over a decade.

We are now expanding this service availability to all active clients and those in the onboarding process if you are unable to come to the facility for parent-child time during this public health crisis.

Please email [email protected] for information and scheduling.

COVID-19 Update for Clients - 04/08/20

COVID-19 Update for Clients - 04/08/20

Hannah's House complies with the San Diego County COVID-19 requirements for essential service providers. As required, our mandatory plan is posted for the public in the Front Waiting Room and the Back Waiting Room. There is also a notice outside of each Waiting Room Door with our Social Distancing and Admission Procedures.

  1. All staff wear masks at all times inside the facility; and gloves when needed.
  2. All clients are required to wear a face covering when entering the facility and when spending time inside the facility. No exceptions except for infants and toddlers.
  3. No person may enter the facility if they have now or have had within the last few days: cough, fever or other cold/flu symptoms, or returned from travel outside the country within the last 14 days.. (applies to staff and clients).
  4. Client bathroom is sanitized and disinfected after each client use; or a minimum of once every hour.
  5. Each family room is closed after each use by a family. The room is not reopened until the room has been sanitized and disinfected.
  6. There is a box of tissue taped right next to every entrance and exit out of every door  inside and outside the facility: ALL persons are required to use tissue to touch any door handle.
  7. Door handles and other multi touch surfaces are sanitized and disinfected after each use; or a minimum of once every hour.
  8. We use only EPA approved sanitizers and disinfectants throughout the facility.

We are dedicated to providing safe and secure essential services to all families throughout our communities.

Please email [email protected] with any and all questions about our safety protocols for COVID-19.

Outside Seating for Social Distancing

We have placed a bench outside the front door and two of the back door benches are still in place. Feel free to wait on the bench instead of entering the building for any service. Simply tell the Staff who checks you in at the Video Monitor that you want to wait outside!

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