Grafton in Action – Summer 2021

As summer approaches, there are so many reasons to be excited and grateful. With roughly half the country now vaccinated against COVID-19, life is slowly returning to normal. Restaurants and businesses are bustling again, friends and families are reuniting, and many of us can finally take a long overdue vacation.

At Grafton, things are looking up as well. Our residential clients are thrilled to be receiving visitors and resuming their activities in the community. In our schools, students have embraced their return to in-person learning and all the hands-on instruction that goes along with it, whether it be singing together in music therapy or getting their hands dirty in the greenhouse.

One of the things I’m most excited about is Grafton’s new partnership with Salem Children’s Trust in western Maryland. Since 1979, Salem Children’s Trust has provided a home, education, and therapy to abused and neglected children on a beautiful campus in the Appalachian Mountains. Unfortunately, the nonprofit was forced to close last spring due to financial hardship.

We know from market research that there’s a shortage of services for children with Autism, intellectual disabilities, and complex mental health challenges in Maryland. So, when Grafton’s leadership team heard about the closure, we reached out to see if a partnership made sense. After months of negotiations and planning, we entered an agreement to implement Grafton’s programming and model of care at Salem.

This summer, Grafton and Salem will be hard at work preparing for a September reopening. A local hiring search is in progress, with plans to build a 15- to 20-person staff of direct care professionals, teachers, therapists, and other clinicians for the upcoming academic year. Eventually, with full enrollment, Salem will be able to serve up to 50 day students and more than 30 residential clients.

Bringing Grafton’s services to clients and families in Maryland, many of whom have lacked access to specialized behavioral health care, is an opportunity we could not pass up. Our mission is to deliver proven results for those with Autism, intellectual disabilities, and complex mental health challenges—and I believe this partnership will help us fulfill that goal by reaching even more people in need.

To learn more about the new partnership, read our recent blog post, or visit Salem Children’s Trust in person during its upcoming open house on July 30th. Email communications@grafton.org for more details.

Thank you for your continued support as we work to meet the needs of underserved individuals throughout Virginia and wherever we can be of service.

Read the full newsletter here.