The need for compassionate caregiving never stops, not even for COVID-19. DePaul’s sponsored residential team knows that need is still there and is adapting to meet it.
“I am lucky to be blessed with such resilient and hardworking staff,” said Amber Wieringo, director of residential services.
The sponsored residential team works to find compassionate caregivers in the community who want to open their homes to children and adults with developmental disabilities. While the way team members are working has changed, the goal of their work has not. The sponsored residential program is still taking referrals and doing its best to fill homes. In fact, this March was one of the busiest months for the program in a while.
How exactly is the sponsored residential program adapting?
The sponsored residential team is making sure current sponsored providers have all the support and tools they need to get by during this trying time.
“It is hard being home all the time, but we are grateful DePaul is checking in on us several times a week. We text pretty regularly with our residential coordinator, but now we are talking on the phone and video chatting which has been a big help,” said Mrs. Hurt, a sponsored residential provider with DePaul.
If DePaul’s sponsored residential providers have completed all the required training, and have a potential placement, licensing, at the state level, has agreed to move forward with the approval process as this is a priority for individuals needing a home. For those providers who are still in the process, DePaul is moving forward by preparing the homes for home studies. The hope is that once the pandemic has passed, DePaul will have a collection of compassionate caregivers ready and waiting.
“From the moment this all started, our sponsored providers have been gracious, understanding, and willing to make whatever adjustments were needed for the safety of the individuals they serve and the safety of our staff. It has been one of the most remarkable shifts I have witnessed in my career,” said Amber.