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The year 2020 was full of the unexpected, unplanned, and in many cases, unwelcome! What began as a year of excitement and hopefulness quickly devolved into a time of intense, global transformation as COVID descended and ultimately forced us to close down much of our on-site operations at our beautiful SCARC campuses. We faced many challenges and uncertainties as we worked to come to grips with what was happening and what to do next. How would we navigate all this change when we still knew so very little about this strange new virus?
Our primary goal was, and continues to be, protecting our vulnerable residents, so we read and listened to as much information as we could. In March, at the directive of our state’s government, we closed our day-habilitation services. We redeployed our day program staff to help our residential staff manage the rapidly evolving demands of running a group home during a pandemic.
Stringent protocols had to be developed and implemented under extremely tight timelines to ensure the safety of our residents and staff. Employees quickly adapted to the new screening, sanitization, and safety requirements as if they’d been adhering to them for years. Our group home staff taught residents how to wear masks, socially distance, and adopt other precautions while helping the individuals we serve cope with the dramatic changes in their routines and circumstances. And our employees did this all while wearing masks, gowns, gloves, and face shields to protect our residents.
Meanwhile, many of our staff learned to work remotely, yet still stay connected and operate as a team, doing all the background work to ensure we could continue providing as many services and supports as possible. Our residential and regular day-hab staff quickly developed and implemented online day-hab programs with incredible ingenuity and creativity. In addition, SCARC Guardianship’s team has for months been providing live lunchtime programming to the individuals we serve, which augments the rich, engaging content that makes up our virtual day-hab experience. For the individuals we serve, these classes, clubs, and group sessions lend much-needed structure, fun, and activity to everyone’s days.
This experience has bound us all even closer, so that the entire pandemic has acted as one big team-building exercise. Through the efforts of our entire staff, we have learned how to cope and how to utilize healthy strategies to keep our residents safe. Our CHAMPIONS, as our direct-support professionals have become known, have been relentlessly focused on doing everything right—they are meticulous and extraordinarily devoted to keeping our residents healthy. And the efforts have paid off! At no time during the entire year did a single resident develop COVID-19. We are tremendously proud and appreciative of our great staff—our CHAMPIONS!
After many months of our “new normal” and what, at times, felt like a constant need to adapt to new changes, we are more resilient than ever, ready to face any new challenge that comes our way. Our board of trustees has been made even stronger, more dedicated, and more determined as a result of the challenges we’ve faced and the tough decisions we’ve had to make. Our administrative team is incredibly knowledgeable, deeply committed, and fully prepared to lead our beloved SCARC into whatever the future holds for us.
Best of all, the individuals we serve are looking toward the future with excitement and hope. They are confident in the knowledge that they have the tools and support they need to learn, grow, and enjoy their lives to the fullest.
We are stronger for the trials that we have faced; the streams in the desert will lead us to a land of hope, prosperity, and success. We are thankful to God for His care over us. As we pursue the best quality of life for all those we serve at SCARC, we do so with a dedicated team of people who are relentlessly focused on achieving our mission: providing high-quality services to persons with developmental disabilities and their families in Sussex County.
Provide high quality services and supports to people with developmental disabilities and their families in Sussex County.
A community of respect, equality, and dignity for people of all abilities.
SCARC provides a wide range of services designed to meet the diverse support needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.
From its administrative offices in Augusta, SCARC oversees
SCARC also provides
in many locations throughout the county.
“We feel so blessed to have the great people from SCARC in our lives. They have such good hearts.”
For more detailed financial information, please contact our president and chief executive officer,
Richard C. Lecher, Ph.D., at 973-383-7442
The year 2020 would not have been the success that it was without our staff—our heroes! Our incredible employees have proven, time and time again, their unwavering dedication to SCARC and to the individuals we serve. Even as the state shut down, they were here. And while our entire staff has made extraordinary efforts, adjusting seamlessly to the challenges of this past year, the direct-support professionals (DSPs) who work in our group homes have been particularly exceptional.
To safely care for our residents, DSPs had to adapt quickly, making a staggering number of changes, big and small, to their daily work routines and even their personal lives to ensure the safety of those we serve. Each staff member was required to undergo a rigorous health check upon arrival to a SCARC group home, constantly clean and sanitize every surface in the group home, wear uncomfortable PPE, complete regular safety trainings and checks, and follow dozens of other meticulous protocols to keep COVID out of SCARC’s group homes and away from the vulnerable individuals we serve.
During a time when so many were able to work from the safety of their homes, our DSPs still showed up, each and every day, putting our residents’ needs above their own. Staff have also taken painstaking care to avoid potential exposure in their personal lives, limiting their activities and who they spend time with. And through it all, they have continued to provide loving, supportive care to our residents.
Our employees have made tremendous sacrifices to ensure our residents’ safety—and their efforts have paid off. Thanks to their hard work, not a single COVID case was recorded in our group homes this past year. We are immensely proud of and grateful to our heroes!