A letter from Starfish CEO Ann Kalass
- March 17, 2020: Click to read
- April 22, 2020: Click to read
- June 3, 2020: Click to read
- July 31, 2020: Click to read
Caring for our community
Our physical centers are slowly starting to open, but Starfish staff remain open and available to our family of clients—where we can and how we can. Our more than 4,000 metro Detroit children (and their families) count on us for essential services, care, and connection. And our commitment now (as always) is to serve them and our community at large.
Know that we stand ready and energized to support our families, staff, and neighborhoods, in creative, responsive, and responsible ways. We are here and near: reach out to us.
- Call us: 734. 728. 3400 (for general information + COVID-specific updates)
- Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Check back: here for updates (we suggest bookmarking us)
- Follow us on social media: Click to follow our Facebook page
Starfish Safe Start Plan
The Starfish Safe Start Team has crafted a comprehensive and nimble Safe Start Plan designed to support the health and well-being of employees and the families we serve.
- The plan was informed by parents and staff, who were surveyed to establish a comfort-level baseline.
- The Safe Start Team comprises 50 members, representing a 10% cross-section of voices and diversity.
- The protocols constitute recommendations based on guidance provided by federal, state, and local authorities.
- The return to in-person work and service delivery will follow Michigan Safe Start phased guidelines, and each time an executive order is issued we will review for alignment.
Starfish Safe Start: Family Handbook
Transparent and frequent communication with our families surrounding safe-start protocols is critical. As such, we have created a Starfish Safe Start Family Handbook, which includes detailed family health and safety steps. See also: Manual de Reinicio Seguro para las Familias de Starfish. Note: This handbook and the method of family service delivery (e.g., in-person versus virtual education or therapy) may change as new guidelines or directives become available from COVID authorities.
- Check-in health screening, including temperature check
- Face coverings
- Student drop-off and pick-up
- Social distancing steps
- Facility safety, cleaning, disinfecting
- Emergency response steps
Update: First Phased Center Openings
July 28 marked the “soft” opening of one of our locations—the Partnering with Parents Center in Dearborn—for limited ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) services.
- Feedback: We started slowly with two-hour sessions to help children adjust to being back, wearing masks, and following our new guidelines. Our parents, kids, and staff all did really well! We will strategically bring a few more children on-site, while we continue to monitor and evaluate the transition.
- As of late August, more than 65 hours of direct face-to-face services have taken place.
August 10 marked opening doors at our Westland clinic, located at 35300 Nankin Blvd., Suite 601. Again, utilizing Starfish safe-start protocols. During our first week, 13 clients were seen in the office.
Health & Safety: #HealthCareHeroes
Beaumont Hospital Hotline: 800.592.4784
- The hotline is a community resource for timely, accurate information about COVID-19 symptoms and virtual screening for people who are experiencing symptoms.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Hotline: 888.535.6136
Michigan Stay Well Helpline: 888.535.6136 Confidential emotional support counseling is now available 24/7 at no cost to Michiganders. Michigan Stay Well counselors are available any time, day or night, and language translation is available for non-English speakers. Press 8 when prompted to speak to a Michigan Stay Well counselor.
Disaster Distress Helpline: 800.985.5990 This 24/7/365 service from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides crisis counseling for people going through both natural and human-caused disasters. It’s free, multilingual and confidential. You can also text TalkWithUs to 66746.
COVID-19 Testing: Outer Wayne County Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn. No cost to eligible Michiganders. A doctor’s referral is not required. Residents are required to pre-screen and register for a test at cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.
COVID-19 Testing: Southgate Sam’s Club at 15700 Northline Road, Southgate. Open to anyone who may be exhibiting symptoms of the virus. Also available to all healthcare providers and first responders, whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms. All appointments will be made through Quest’s MyQuest™ online portal that will screen and schedule those individuals who meet the CDC eligibility.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Includes latest health updates and links to fact sheets, including avoiding racism/stigma surrounding Coronavirus.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Includes links to fact sheets in English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic.
Detroit city resources for meals, water, housing, navigating unemployment benefits, and more.
United Way 2-1-1 service provides referrals to programs in Southeast Michigan ranging from food vouchers to rental assistance. Dial 2-1-1 to talk to a community care advocate or search the online database to access more than 30,000 different statewide programs and services. If you experience problems dialing 2-1-1, dial 1-800-552-1183.
Comcast is offering 2 free months of Internet access to new, low-income customers through their Internet Essentials program (apply by December 31). For new and existing customers, they are increasing their connection speed times.
DTE Energy is here to help manage your energy bills through various programs such as Personalized Service Protection and Shutoff Protection Program. Payment options are also available for those medically affected by COVID-19. Visit DTE COVID online or call 800-477-4747 for more details or to check your eligibility.
Metropolitan Detroit Diaper Bank offers diaper assistance for children and adults. For children’s diapers, visit https://www.detroitdiaperbank.com/diapers/ To inquire about diapers for adults, call 313-356-6470.
Starfish Food Distribution Dates: in association with Gleaner’s Community Food Bank
- Thursday, September 10
- Covenant House Center, 1450 25th St., Detroit
- Time: 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Friday, September 18
- Cecil Center, 5690 Cecil Ave., Detroit
- Time: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
- Friday, September 18
- Hiveley Center, 30000 Hiveley St., Inkster
- Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For our behavioral health families
Our caring clinicians are successfully maintaining nurturing relationships with our current family of clients through a “Telehealth method.”
We are also accepting new clients. Even though we’re all focused on staying safe physically, the toll this crisis is taking on our mental health is mounting. A new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) revealed that 45 percent of adults say that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their mental health, and 19 percent say it has had a “major impact.”
- Call us: 888.355.5433 (current and new clients—taking new clients)
- For online resources and at-home coping tools, tips, and activities: Click to visit our Education Station
- Visit us on YouTube to see all #StarfishStaysConnected videos
- What is “Telehealth” or “Telecounseling”? Telecounseling is a way for you to have sessions with your therapist without having to come into a clinic or office. You can see your therapist face-to-face through live video conferencing.
- Why try Telecounseling? What are the benefits?
- Telecounseling allows you to receive counseling services while following any social distancing guidelines or quarantine restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
- You can virtually meet with your therapist or begin therapy services from the privacy of your home and with the same level of confidentiality as meeting in person.
- All Starfish therapists are trained in telecounseling and want to make the experience as easy as possible.
For our preschool families
Our talented teachers and innovative educators are connecting with our children’s families via multiple creative avenues.
- Call us: 844.849.5437 (current and new families)
- Now enrolling for fall 2020: Click to pre-enroll
- Dedicated parent portal: Click to visit
- For latest Starfish parent information
- For online educational activities
- Explore, discover, and grow at home with Starfish!
- Day-by-day calendar of interactions for infants, toddlers, preschoolers
- A bounty of Starfish teacher-produced Story Time and Activity Time videos—so important for our little ones to see the smiling faces of their teachers!
- COVID information for parents (also in Spanish)
- Visit us on YouTube to see all #StarfishStaysConnected videos
- For Story Time anytime, see below for rotating Starfish teachers reading to their students . . . and socially connecting!
Ways to help
We have no idea what the days, weeks, or months ahead will bring. But we do know that during this uncharted time, our families may be particularly vulnerable.
We also know that humankind is resilient. And that we are here to offer hope, help people cope, and make the world better. Let’s use this challenging time to commit to caring for our community.
Taking action by making a donation in any amount will help us continue meeting the needs of our metro Detroit families during this time of great uncertainty.
Your dollars can be converted to real-life items for families. We are manning center hubs (currently at Hiveley in Inkster & Cecil, Covenant House, and Marygrove in Detroit) to distribute essentials to our families. During the last 15 weeks, we were able to provide “Grab-and-Go” meals for 8,986 families, which equals over 44,000 meals + 89,178 diapers.
You’re home. We know you want to DO something because you’re amazing! But, with the stay-at-home order, it’s unsafe to ask you to be traveling to stores and dropping off donations. As travel restrictions change, we will definitely update and activate you!