These are unprecedented times. Our lives and daily routines have been fully disrupted by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, our commitment to serve children and families in need remains steadfast. Our commitment to the health and safety of the Thornwell community and staff has not changed. Due to the high contact nature of our residential program, and the ongoing need of the children and families we serve, we are carefully monitoring and adapting to this situation as needed.

We have been following and continue to follow updates and direction from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government officials regarding the prevention of the spread of coronavirus. Our Child Development Center is closed for the remainder of the month of April. We continue to provide nutritionally balanced lunch and breakfast meals to all children age 18 and under who need assistance, regardless of prior association with Thornwell. Meal pickup information may be found here.

Our residential program is now observing an enhanced social distancing policy, with children and parents under clear guidance regarding their social activities. Each cottage is maintaining distance from anyone who does not currently live in the cottage, and each has an assigned outdoor recreation space to ensure social distancing is maintained while enjoying the fresh air. In each cottage, twice-daily temperature checks are being conducted, and high contact areas within each cottage are being cleaned three times daily. Our residential program is no longer conducting off-campus trips without the express consent of leadership. Cottage staff who do not reside full-time at Thornwell are practicing social distancing while off duty as well.

Our community-based programs across FL, GA, and SC, like Building Families, Foster Care, and Strengthening Families, have moved to HIPAA compliant video and telehealth methods where available. Many of our services and programs are vitally important to the emotional and mental health of the children and families we serve. For that reason, we will do all that we can to maintain the support they are accustomed to while respecting and abiding by the guidance of health and government officials.

We have worked closely with the Department of Social Services (DSS)to ensure our current response and practices are in alignment with recommendations for organizations like ours. We are carefully reviewing new referrals for placement on a case-by-case basis and assisting when we can.

These are unprecedented times. In a situation that is rapidly changing, we have to do the right thing, one thing at a time. We are in this together and, with God’s help, we will get through this together stronger as a ministry and as individual people of faith.

While our faith and our trust is in God, it is our collective responsibility as people of faith to join together to do all that we can and take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves, our families, and those we serve.

We will continue to communicate any necessary updates as they become available. Thank you for your continued support of Thornwell and the children and families that we serve.

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