Serving 1,500 children each year, the Children's Home of Jefferson County impacts the lives of kids across the North Country who are far too young to be battling some of the very adult things life has thrown at them.

COVID-19 has become yet another ball they must juggle and while it has impacted their lives in different ways, including separation from family, the home is making changes on the fly to help them keep on track

Dr. Scott Ulberg is the medical director and a psychiatrist with Children's Home of Jefferson County, spends his day under COVID-19 restrictions doing what he can to ensure the kids who need him most, can still access him -- despite no longer being able to physically meet with him. He's using teletherapy to ensure their path towards behavioral mental health stays on track.

"In terms of children, I think this brings up a lot of angst about safety and children who have gone through something really trying and traumatic experiences when they were younger, it may in certain circumstances bring up memories of those times," Dr. Ulberg said.

Most children using these services live at home or are in foster care. However, a small number temporarily live on campus as they work through their programs.

Unfortunately, 14 of those kids were not cleared to go home and because of spreading concerns, cannot even have their families and/or loved ones visit.

It's another stress placed on a child, but one the Children's home is working overtime on to ensure has a limited impact on progress. It's work that includes providing the children and their loved ones access to a video chat system.

"It is really difficult to tell a child you can't go home for a visit because it’s not safe. I think that's very difficult for children to wrap their heads around," Dr. Ulberg said.

"We understand that socialization and contact is really important for our kids. So we're working with that for them to have that contact and we're keeping them busy.  We're all social distancing, but we've got a campus so we can do lots of different things to keep them busy and keep them engaged," CHJC Executive Director Karen Richmond said.

The stresses of COVID-19 however, as we all know in one way or another, know no age.

So the Children's Home is expanding its services to adults as well, currently accepting people of all ages to take part in its TeleTherapy program and ensuring everyone can get the help they need.

You can learn more about the TeleTherapy and TeleHealth prorams at CHJC by calling 315-788-7430.