Dear Tennyson Community,
As previously shared, in March we made the difficult decision to close our Residential Program. As of April 16, all residential children have been discharged to beneficial step-down placements in foster, kinship, adoptive, and biological families with one child placed in a group home. We recognize how challenging this has been for everyone, and we are so appreciative of all who thoughtfully supported and assisted Tennyson and these children through the process.
Tennyson operates many programs outside of our former residential program. Residential represented 13% of the children and families we served on an annual basis. We want to assure you that these other programs have not been impacted by the residential closure and continue to provide the same excellent level of care to the children and families that we serve. In addition, all are in good standing with their respective regulatory bodies. Here are examples of how these programs are supporting our community:
- Child First, a national, evidence-based, two-generation model that serves the most vulnerable young children and families, will provide intensive, home-based services to prevent child abuse and neglect. Child First serves children before birth through age five and their caregivers who are facing challenges like poverty, mental health issues, and homelessness. After much preparation, we are thrilled to launch this program in July.
- Demand continues to grow for Community Based Services, and clinicians are returning to in-home therapy supporting thousands of kids and families across Colorado.
- Our Therapeutic K-12 School and Day Treatment Program is preparing for its summer school session and building a robust curriculum for incoming fall students.
- Families Together, which connects families who feel isolated with volunteer “Neighbors,” is growing as well, and we have expanded programming both locally and nationally in California and Texas with additional states coming on board very soon.
- Tennyson’s Outpatient Services is accepting referrals and will provide individual and family therapy, along with care coordination for children, teens, and adults.
- We remain committed to Rewiring, which provides prevention and early intervention support for children and families to avert them from entering child welfare, and we are working with key stakeholders to continue on a path forward.
Additionally, there are outcomes within these programs worth celebrating! Most recently, in our school, students showed a 52% increase in reading proficiency and a 40% increase in math proficiency despite the stresses of COVID-19. Our Community Based Services program succeeded in keeping 97% of children served within their homes and community.
As we continue to strengthen these programs, we will take the time to evaluate the best way to allocate our resources through a thorough needs assessment of kids and families. Additionally, many external factors will help guide our decision, including the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) federal mandates on residential facilities, and the state legislative sessions, which may continue into August 2021. As such, any strategic decisions regarding programming and the possibility of re-opening a residential program will not be determined until our new CEO is in place.
Our national CEO search is well underway, and we have received an overwhelming number of applicants. We are already deep into the process with many qualified candidates. Our search committee includes Board members, staff, and donors, and the process is being informed by extensive feedback from all stakeholders. We will keep you apprised of our progress.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank you for your continued support of children and families.
Interim President & CEO