This collaborative network of providers uses a contingency organization model to focus on family and community activities designed to enhance resilience, wellness and positive growth and development among family members and solo-individuals in the Western Pennsylvania area and throughout the nation.
Deerwood Family Services will:
Provide on-line and in-office space for treatment, intervention, coaching, and for prevention-related psychoeducational services, primarily in the areas of behavioral health, mental health, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and therapeutic tutoring to individual family members, to families-as-a-whole, to individuals living alone, and to small groups focused on family and local community activities.
Serve as a platform for grant-writing to obtain funding for prevention-related services not covered by insurance.
Maintain a culture of evidence and outcome assessment through home-study reports for adoption, foster care, and other court-related needs; through conflict resolution and mediation; through coaching, through consultation service, and through the development and sale of therapeutic books, workbooks, and other relevant items.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, crisis intervention services were prioritized and a tremendous amount of service was provided virtually with little regard for payment. No one was turned away for lack of insurance or ability to pay. Because fabric furniture and carpeting made sterilizing the offices between clients difficult, in-office services were suspended. This decision was made after consulting with health departments at both the state and local levels. Contact with Board members was maintained virtually on an as-needed basis. A graduate student completing a field practicum became part of the network. She completed a needs assessment study with key community informants to help us decide what types of post-pandemic programs and services are most needed as we all emerge from this very traumatic period. More information about this will be posted in the NEEDS ASSESSMENT section of this website as it becomes available.
Now that the national declaration of emergency is finally being suspended, Deerwood Family Services in exploring options related to the re-opening of its two offices. Our virtual services will continue. Because so many have expressed a desire to use telehealth and other on-line services permanently, office space may be converted for use as part of a hybrid model or for new types of programs that require on-site gatherings. The national declaration of emergency related to the pandemic is ending, but covid-19 continues to be a major threat to those with risk factors for severe illness. Re-opening will proceed slowly until everyone, including providers, feel comfortable being in close proximity with others who might transmit illness. While many downplayed the severity of the illness, we worked with too many families traumatized by loss of loved ones to forget the overwhelming remorse on the part of those who unknowingly spread covid-19 to those who became seriously ill or died from it.
Prior to the start of the pandemic, 2019 was busy. It was a year that involved a significant increase in the number of individuals and families receiving direct services at both of our Pennsylvania offices and virtually through our on-line telehealth program. A more detailed report was provided to the Board at an end-of-year meeting held on December 28,2019.
Our Board held its annual meeting on December 28, 2019 using a conference call format. A majority of Board Members participated, therefore we had a quorum. Five specific itemswere presented for discussion and decision-making regarding goals for 2020:
1. Should Deerwood Family Services participate in the development of the recommended Children’s Arts Center, using a portion of space at the California building; and, if so, should a virtual component be included? (Work in the Arts Center will be video-recorded with parent approval)? Unanimous consent provided
2. Should Deerwood Family Services rent out space to additional clinical providers; and, if so, what would the cost be?
Unanimous Consent to Explore Further.
3. Should Deerwood Family Services become credentialed as a group practice for the purpose of providing clinical services through Medicare?
Unanimous Agreement for Not Yet
4. Should Deerwood Family Services accept non-clinical intern or practicum student if requested to do so by one of the local colleges or universities? Unanimous Consent Provided
5. Should Deerwood Family Services offer a parenting group for families affected by autism if asked to do so. Unanimous Consent Provided
During the pandemic years, item #1, the Children's Art Center, began virtually with a number of children using it to post creative works associated with the pandemic itself and their ways of coping with it. Item #4, the acceptance of a non-clinical practicum student became official in April, 2022. Also, progress was made relating to item #5 with an increase in the number of parents of children on the autism spectrum. With all the crisis work, there was no time to start an on-site parenting group, but this may begin during the second half of 2023. A new educational advocacy scholarship initiative began in late 2020. More information about this will be provided after our next Board meeting The next Board meeting will take place in person in December of 2023.