The Ranch Response to COVID-19

Updated March 30, 2020

As we navigate the COVID-19 crisis, our first priority is the safety and security of the vulnerable children who come here for healing. COVID-19 did not wipe out the trauma or pain that our children are suffering. In fact, in some cases the changes in schedule and activities exacerbate the anxiety and fear our kids live with every day. Our job is to provide them with all the safety and reassurances we can. We will continue their treatment, their therapy, their clean environment, and provide answers to all the questions they may have. Our Leadership, program, and education teams are meeting daily to adjust plans and operations.

While we know our plans will change day by day, sometimes minute by minute, we wanted to inform you of the things we are doing to keep our children and employees safe.

  • Upon recommendation of North Dakota Department of Health and the CDC, we have taken critical steps to slow the spread and acceleration of the virus, with an emphasis on social distancing.
  • Dakota Memorial School is back in session (via distance learning) March 31, 2020. Our administrators and teachers are working diligently to ensure our students (both residential and Day Students) continue learning during this challenging time. 
  • Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch (Ranch) Residential Programs located in Fargo, Bismarck and Minot will continue operations, with additional safeguards in place to decrease the spread of COVID-19. Additional safeguards include, but are not limited to:
    • Enhanced screening of staff and children; along with rapid identification and management of ill residents.
    • We continue to limit visitors and home passes for our residents.
    • Essential travel and deliveries only. 
    • Increased cleaning and disinfecting efforts.
  • Out of concern for the community and our staff, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Stores are closed through April 12, 2020. We are not accepting donations. Our online stores are still open on Poshmark, EBay and Etsy.  (
  • To keep our clients and community healthy, our Dakota Family Services providers are connecting with current clients online. Our online appointment platform is a simple way for you to connect and communicate with your provider face-to-face via your phone or computer; and it meets all standards for protecting your privacy and confidentiality.  Continue to maintain your family’s mental wellness from the comfort of your home.

How can you help? Symptoms of the COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Please do not visit the Ranch if you have these symptoms. Rather, consult your health provider and tell them about your recent travel or exposure. 

We take the safety of our kids and staff very seriously. We will continue to monitor the situation, work with state and local health officials, and follow recommended guidance as it becomes available. 

Thank you for your attention and support during this time. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch