The problem Jean Tweed Centre encountered with the advent of COVID-19 was to continue access to the services and to ensure everyone’s safety. According to Julia Bloomenfeld, Director of Clinical Services, and Jasmine Grantham-Smith, Team Lead, Day/Residential Program,  as the onsite services were paused in many areas, their aim became  maintaining continuity of care across the  services including the intensive form of treatment for women and to support women as they transitioned back home, wherever that was in the province.  

Using client feedback from their limited virtual support experience in the continuing care program, the Jean Tweed team quickly expanded to other program areas. Staff took online training and daily debriefed to make rapid changes to service delivery. Some of the changes implemented were: adapting practice guidelines for clinicians using an online platform; prioritizing safety and privacy through a gender lens; accommodating the presence of infants and children in sessions; and a rolling admission for the Intensive Online Program which was received well by the clients. Virtual service delivery is provided by facilitators through Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) which was a sharp learning curve for both staff and the clients. However, according to Julia Bloomenfeld, “we learned that online group sessions can provide access and support that sometimes in person cannot. The experience with the continuing care group in the first days of COVID-19 assisted us to pivot quickly to providing the intensive group treatment virtually as we had gained the technology skills/expertise.” As Jean Tweed started offering more virtual programs, they quickly encountered issues such as limits posed by the technology on numbers, and the ideal group length for an online group, and made rapid learning adjustments to their facilitation.  ‘having these groups has reduced the isolation women were experiencing’– was a common theme from the women’s feedback. Jean Tweed Centre plans to sustain the changes past COVID pandemic with the challenge of limited resources.  

Amazing feedback from your clients on the effectiveness of virtual groups! We look forward to hearing more!

If your agency is currently engaging in rapid quality improvement work the E-QIP Team is here to help you document your experience!  Download our “Quick QI template” and email us at to speak with a coach about your QI initiatives during COVID-19!