ATTLEBORO – Staff shortages during the coronavirus pandemic have hit Amego Inc., an urban organization that helps people with autism and other developmental disabilities, forcing the temporary shutdown of its adult services.
“This time around, we closed our adult services the week before Christmas, the week between Christmas and New Years, and we extended it until this week,” said John Randall, president and chief executive officer. direction of Amego.
Randall said on Thursday that the same services would also be closed next week.
“Our program models range from early intervention and home-based center services to 80 collective care facilities for children and adults,” he said. “We also have two adult day programs and a Chapter 766 school, and COVID has impacted all of these services in different ways.”
Among the challenges Amego faced in the wake of COVID, Randall said the biggest problem was their staff ratios.
“The biggest challenge for us and for the pitch right now is definitely the personnel crisis,” said Randall. “Every industry has been hit by a personnel crisis, but when we are understaffed, our customers always have the same needs, so we have to maintain high personnel ratios. “
To overcome this staffing shortage, Randall said communication between frontline workers and families and stakeholders has been vital.
“To date, we haven’t had to consolidate a group home,” said Randall.
Amego has also adjusted its schooling model to avoid large gatherings, as those who live in their family home still physically attend school, while those in residential programs currently follow a blended learning model.
“Given the nature of our service, we need to be in close contact with the people we support and being able to do it and do it safely has been a challenge, so we are counting on a large supply of protective equipment and good social distancing when we can, ”Randall said.
Randall said Amego will also continue to assess the COVID numbers and make any necessary changes.
“We let the data guide what we do,” Randall said.