Name of Innovative Program:
Friends Hospital & First Home Care
Name of Innovative Program Lead:
Gina Fusco, Psy.D.
E-mail Address of Innovative Program Lead:
The Scattergood Cupboard is the joint effort between Friends Hospital and First Home Care (FHC) to create a centralized clothing donation “Cupboard” for those individuals who are presenting to Friends’ CRC and inpatient units, and for those children who are placed into treatment and emergency foster care who are in need of immediate clothing. Friends Hospital, as one of the largest points of access to care for some of our community’s most vulnerable, serves thousands of individuals annually. The Cupboard provides basic clothing in support of our behavioral health services. Donations received include all ages, sizes, seasons, and carrying bags. Staff have informally collected items for those with emergent need, including for those who may be homeless, but through the centralized location and organized donation effort of The Scattergood Cupboard, specific sized clothing can be provided which contributes to the empowerment and health of an individual on their path to recovery.
Creativity and Innovation:
On the path to recovery, individuals may face tremendous struggles in their everyday lives including meeting the most basic of human needs. This includes adequate shelter, food, and clothing. As an inpatient psychiatric facility, CRC, and foster care agency, our staff are dedicated to promoting an environment of safety, health, and healing. This environment includes providing the basics of needs - adequate clothing. Thousands of our community members present to the CRC, hospital, and foster care agency to receive support and behavioral health services. Often presenting with few resources, our staff understand that by helping to meet an individual’s basic needs, individuals can begin or continue their journey to recovery. Ever resourceful, our staff are donating from their families and friends to add to the Cupboard’s shelves. Our peer specialists and chaplain are combining community resources to the effort - the result, a creative, resourceful means of assisting the many that we serve.
In creating the Scattergood Cupboard, we formed a workgroup focused on the process of collection, organization, and storage. Many staff volunteered to participate - these natural leaders are carrying the message throughout their community about our collection and donation effort. Staff from all disciplines are participating with questions, suggestions, and items that they wish to donate, and some are approaching retailers to collaborate. In effect, the Cupboard has caused a ripple effect. Considering the holistic needs of those we serve, staff are now going beyond clothing, and have suggested we receive items to enhance the quality of life for those we serve, including but not limited to books, eye-glasses, childcare items, shoes, coats, and blankets. Places of worship once aware of the effort from our staff are organizing collections and donation events. The Cupboard has initiated and motivated our staff who are leading and activating their supports within their communities to join the effort.
Friends Hospital has remained for 200 years an active community member providing crisis and inpatient behavioral health services. First Home Care, founded in 1999, provides loving and safe foster homes to children and adolescents. Sharing space on the grounds of Friends Hospital, our organizations’ combined efforts will sustain the Cupboard. The Cupboard is a result of a natural process began by nurses and mental health technicians over 20 years ago. These dedicated staff stored and saved items for those with need on the inpatient units. Case managers at FHC have donated child clothing and suitcases to allow for children to carry items in an intact bag, rather than an often-used garbage bag. Staff have been and will continue this long-held tradition by collecting donations of clothing and childcare items. The Cupboard allows for a more organized effort of this tradition so that individualized items can be distributed at all times for those in need.
There is great potential to replicate the Scattergood Cupboard. Crisis Response Centers, inpatient psychiatric facilities, medical-surgical facilities, and child welfare agencies can easily create an organized donation effort, distribution policy, and storage space. Often a collection or donation effort is already underway by the staff who experience the specific day to day needs of those that they serve. The Cupboard represents the next step in those efforts of creating an organized process that can be sustained over time. An organization can benefit from staff experiencing great satisfaction relating to the power of giving and altruism. Further community connections are made as staff become an active participant in the creation of the project and eliciting support from their community. Consistent with recovery, staff and individuals who receive items experience the strength and empowerment of activating resources within themselves, each other, and their community.
In order to assess the effectiveness of the Cupboard, the Quality Improvement Department in conjunction with the Department of Psychology at Friends Hospital is in the process of creating a Cupboard-specific survey for those who receive clothing within the CRC, units, and FHC with questions related to satisfaction (e.g., appropriateness, process, etc). These results will be reviewed on a quarterly basis to inform and improve the process. Additionally, certified peer specialists will obtain feedback from individuals who receive clothing at Friends and FHC. In terms of effectiveness of providing clothing, items distributed will be tallied to ascertain what types of items are being distributed or accessed and in what volume they are being accessed. This will assist in monitoring that collections are targeted to meet identified needs (e.g., more of one type of item than another that may be needed). Employee feedback and recommendations will be on-going and reviewed in quarterly Cupboard workgroup meetings.