In the time of COVID, and for the continued safety of host families and their youth guests, THRIVE! continues to adhere to the recommendations made by the CDC.
THRIVE! staff will ensure all youth have access to:
- Face masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Appropriate cleaning supplies
- COVID testing, if appropriate
How have matches and move-ins changed?
- Instead of meeting in the host home, all parties will agree to either a virtual meeting or an outdoor meeting, if social distancing is possible. All parties will wear masks.
- Prior to move-in, a mutual contract will be determined by all parties to make sure that youth and hosts are cautious about limiting exposure to all in the home. If the mutual contract is being violated by either party, the youth will be removed from the home. SHIP has limited funding to provide a hotel room for a short period of time. For youth 18 years and over, those funds will be used in cases where matches do not work out. For minors, other arrangements will be made.
- If possible, youth will be encouraged to self-isolate upon move-in and continue to maintain social distancing in the host home.
How has youth support has changed due to COVID?
- Case managers will continue to meet with youth on a weekly basis, although those meetings will be conducted virtually or outside where social distancing is available. During in-person meetings, masks will be worn by both parties.
- Case managers will continue to provide support to those youth if they are able to maintain social distancing. One limitation that should be observed is case managers’ ability to provide transportation. That support is restricted until it is safer to do so.
What is expected of the youth and the hosts?
- Again, THRIVE! assumes youth and hosts will follow CDC guidelines. Regular check-ins will continue to ensure all parties are respecting the agreed upon house boundaries.
- Youth are encouraged to refrain from returning to work until it is safer to do so.
- Additional mental health services have been made available for youth participants, if they are willing to engage. A local trauma specialist is available for hosts if more support is needed.
- For additional information on the maintaining mental health during COVID-19, please visit the Maryland Department of Health’s FAQ’s.