Grafton in Action – Spring 2021

Through all the difficulties of 2020, we held onto the hope that 2021 would bring brighter days. While it’s been heartening to see our team step up in unprecedented ways—changing their schedules, shifting to online learning and therapy platforms, and wearing masks to protect our most vulnerable clients—we have all been eager to get back to business as usual. As the weather warms and the days grow longer, I believe better days are finally here.

A growing number of Grafton’s staff, clients, and their families are receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, and community spread in our region is steadily decreasing. With our day schools and day support programs recently reopened, more students, teachers, and staff are safely interacting on our campuses. Our vaccinated adult clients are getting out and engaging in their communities again. And visitation—an incredibly crucial part of our services—has returned for the first time in months. These are sure signs that things are moving forward.

As I look to the months and years ahead, it’s clear that growth will be part of Grafton’s future. Our high rate of success in providing crucial treatment services to our clients has generated interest from other behavioral health providers across the country. Ukeru’s outreach and training efforts have been key to educating providers outside of Virginia about our services and attracting new business opportunities nationwide. In fact, in recent months, a number of public authorities and private organizations from other states have reached out for help to bring our services to them.

We remain committed to meeting—and exceeding—the needs of our constituents in our home state. At the same time, we have an ethical responsibility to address the needs of clients in other areas of the country, where many families have no access to the type of services Grafton provides. Our mission is to deliver proven results for children, adolescents, and adults with Autism, intellectual disabilities, and complex mental health challenges—and I believe we are the best at what we do. Now, we have an obligation to expand our reach to help more people in need.

Grafton recently entered into a management agreement with another not-for-profit in western Maryland, and we are finalizing plans with the state of Minnesota to open a small psychiatric residential treatment center there. We look forward to sharing more about these programs as we finalize our agreements and move towards implementation over the summer. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to communications@grafton.org with any questions you may have.

Last but not least, April is Autism Awareness Month. This is a special time at Grafton. We help individuals with Autism learn how to thrive in their community. At the same time, we create awareness throughout communities about understanding and supporting those on the spectrum. We invite you to watch a recent webinar we produced for Autism Awareness Month and hope you will be part of the conversation by sharing your thoughts and experiences with Autism via Facebook and Twitter. This is an issue worth discussing this month and every month.

I can’t thank you enough for staying with us on this journey. I know great things are in store for Grafton, and we couldn’t do it without your support.

Read the full newsletter here.