Early Intervention returns to in-person services

EI home visitor

Shandie, an Early Intervention Occupational Therapy Assistant, visits a home

Our Agency’s Early Intervention team has been providing in-home/in-person visits for over 30 years in Fall River and surrounding towns. Our team of professionals provides developmental and therapeutic supports for families of children from birth to the age of three.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, our services came to a halt very quickly. With permission from the Department of Public Health, we began to learn to provide services via telehealth. For the health and safety of our staff and the families we serve, we continued telehealth until the spring of 2021. With enormous enthusiasm, the Early Intervention staff began doing outdoor visits at family homes, in parks, and other outside public areas. We gradually began to move indoors as appropriate, and we required both staff and families to wear masks during visits. Children under the age of 3 were not required to wear masks.

We realized throughout these transitions that telehealth was a viable option for families when there were no other options due to illness or exposure. Via telehealth, we were able to coach families, offer strategies to improve their child’s development, and provide social-emotional support. We also made lots of referrals for resources throughout the pandemic.

Fast forward to January 2022: We were forced once again to return primarily to telehealth due to the covid rates going up to over 20% positivity rates in our area. During the next six weeks, as the covid rates came down, we planned to resume in-person home visits.

On February 28, 2022, we resumed in-person visits, and both staff and families were very happy to return to this format. For the Early Intervention staff, it certainly has been a growth experience to learn all the necessary skills to transition back and forth from in-person to telehealth.