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Casey's Place...it takes a village


Happy at Casey's Place

Last March, Casey’s Place had to limit the number of children who came daily or weekly to this welcome place of respite. These are families whose children have severe developmental disabilities and complex medical issues.

 “In the beginning there was so much we didn’t know…even about wearing masks. This was a learning process for us all,” notes Nursing Supervisor Iellan Rice.

Diane Nappa, director of Developmental Disabilities for Elmcrest’s Casey’s Place, made adjustments to meet this challenge. “With several staff furloughed, I knew we could not take in the same number of children. We put out a survey and enrolled just those families with essential workers.

To Raegan Dewey, a federal agent, this meant everything, “They say it takes a village…well Casey’s Place is our village. I didn’t know how I could work through this pandemic without help with my five-year-old son, Braedan. Every note I write to the staff says we are forever grateful.”

In June, Casey’s Place re-opened for weekend stays and overnight visits in the summer. By last fall, Casey’s Place was back on its full schedule, only to pause again when the virus surged.

The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but for parents and children who rely on Casey’s Place, these challenges are magnified. Patricia Clark’s son Michael missed his routine at Casey’s Place last spring.

“Michael is so well cared for at Casey’s Place -- all the staff people there are angels,” Patricia states. This is his home away from home and he doesn’t understand why he can’t be there.”

Casey’s Place rescued many essential workers whose children needed the special care that they provide. But others still wait for restrictions to ease so their children may return to this valued place of respite. Patricia Clark adds, “Casey’s Place is everything to us.”