Press release from Family Resource Associates
A new school year means new beginnings as Family Resource Associates (FRA) reopens its doors. The nonprofit organization, which serves people of all ages who have developmental or acquired disAbilities, has received guidance from the State of New Jersey and is planning to start reopening its facilities in October. FRA is expected to offer two classes per day, alternating between its two locations in Red Bank and Brick, which will allow them to fully monitor the health and safety of its students and staff.
Moving forward, classes will be offered both remote and in-person. “We are excited to finally teach the people we serve in-person, again,” said Alexis Spektor, the Adult Program Director at FRA. “This experience of going virtual taught us that we were capable of changing the way we deliver services. However, while some thrive in the virtual classroom, others need the face to face interactions that are only found in a classroom setting.”
Lisa Smelas, a Pediatric Physical Therapist at FRA, provides early intervention services from birth to age three. “These services are traditionally provided in the home using a family training model. When we were told to go virtual in March, I knew we would be okay because we were used to providing services that were specifically tailored around the family.”
Although Smelas did not have the “feel” or “range of motion” that came along with in-home physical therapy services, she was able to give parents the confidence to move their kids through movements that they didn’t typically feel comfortable with. “Most parents embraced that,” she said. “Telehealth services brought with it many silver linings. If someone else in the family was sick, we could still have our session. It really is a beautiful thing to be there for our families no matter what.”
FRA was approved to offer center-based early intervention services in early August, and in-home sessions on September 1. “We now offer a hybrid of in-home, center-based and virtual services,” said Smelas. “It’s so nice to have this option. Telehealth is here to stay and it opens a lot of doors for us in terms of continuing services. We have also seen a decrease in cancellation rates and an increase in service delivery rates.”
FRA’s goal is to open more classes in the coming weeks and months. “We hope to be able to open additional classes for the winter session,” said Spektor. “We will continue to work with our students, teachers, staff and families to pave a way for safely reopening. Looking to the future, we hope to find ways to expand virtual services to reach more people, while still offering classes on site.”
To learn more about FRA – PossAbilities for People with disAbilities, please visit www.frainc.org or call 732-747-5310.