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How Boys Town is Keeping Children Safe During the Pandemic

​Boys Town has always had the safety and well-being of the children it cares for as our top priority. This is especially true during the turbulent times of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have gone to great lengths to ensure that each and every child in our Family Home Program, and all our other programs, are safe, healthy, and continue to receive the care they need. Our high standards for accomplishing this include a Model of Care based on best practices, including:

  • Highly trained staff
  • Supportive supervision
  • A continued focus on keeping youth safe and teaching them embedded reporting mechanisms
  • An administrative system that supports, leads, and directs
  • A strong commitment and dedication from staff
  • A commitment to maintaining education for students at all times
  • An ability to keep youth and staff safe through structure, activities, and community environment
  • A community that has been designed to provide a safe environment through administration, schools, police department, fire department, hospital, and other supports
  • Evaluation of program effectiveness

The following is how we are maintaining these high safety standards for children and staff during the pandemic:

  • Staggering admissions of new youth into separate cohorts from the general population to closely assess health of the child
  • Regular health and wellness screenings for employees, as well as health and wellness screenings for youth upon admission and throughout their stay
  • Adapting our schools; including fewer number of students in the classroom, block scheduling to reduce transition times and limiting number of contacts throughout the day, and teaching the use of masks, hand sanitizer, and physical distancing.
  • Ensuring youth can participate in high school sanctioned sports and extracurricular activities by having proper safeguards in place
  • Maintaining therapy sessions through virtual therapy
  • Continuing to be creative with Family Home activities that promote relationship building and making special memories during this unique time in history
  • Increasing communication with youth and their legal guardians through virtual communication, phone calls, and campus family visits during scheduled times
  • Offering virtual religious services, weekly devotionals with pastors and clergy members, virtual dinners with Father Boes, and other religious support opportunities for youth
  • Increasing sanitization practices in the Family Homes and schools, and among all youth and staff
  • ​Conducting surveys with our current Family Home youth on how they are coping during this pandemic, and overall research outcomes indicates the youth are using the adaptive coping skills they have learned at Boys Town so they stay positive and hopeful about their future