Individual Person-Centered Plan
Each individual being served has a personalized growth plan developed around his/her unique abilities, needs, and—let’s not forget–desires. We pay particular attention to skills for positive relationships as well as building self-respect by developing work and leisure skills. It’s a reason to celebrate when someone learns to play music or solve a problem.
Stable Family Life
Some places just fill empty beds, however we do not. We very carefully match our individuals to the people they’ll be living with to ensure compatibility and common interests. A 20-year-old who loves sports will be paired with other young men who are also devoted fans, and they get to go together to a lot of games.
Residential groups grocery shop, prepare meals, and dine together, sharing events of their day around the table. They also work together to clean their living quarters. We teach interpersonal skills to help them interact, express their feelings and resolve conflicts with each other.
Our homes are extremely stable. Some groups have lived together for decades, and they are very quick to tell you they live with their “family.”
Health and Wellness
Though public agencies provide many health services, they are not always easy to get. Again, it falls on us to advocate, wrangle and sometimes make a lot of noise.
Our individuals being served have their own private doctors they see when necessary and for annual physicals. They have a one-on-one sit-downs with a licensed dietician to assess weight and diet. Health Services staff keep vaccinations up to date. Nurses frequently visit and monitor healthcare in the homes.
We encourage daily exercise. You’ll often see us walking around our neighborhood or playing basketball in the front yard. Some individuals attend classes at local Y’s or swim there. We even have some weight training at community gyms.
Positive Behavior Management
Every waking moment is a teaching moment in our homes. Our caregivers are always demonstrating, encouraging and praising positive behaviors that replace maladaptive ones. We help individuals understand and meet social norms so they are more comfortable out in the community. And we teach appropriate ways to express feelings and frustrations. All individuals have dreams. We help them understand inappropriate behaviors stand in the way of achieving these dreams. Once they’ve grasped this, they’re ready to work toward change.
Our teenage individuals usually attend public school and participate in typical school events. Most are mainstreamed in regular classes.
We advocate for them at school, doing much the same as a parent. You’ll find us at meetings, teacher conferences and selling candy for band trips. At home we help with homework, pass out rewards for good grades and help pick out prom dresses. GED preparation is also available to individuals who want it.
We encourage participation at every level. At some of our homes, individuals participate at the state tournament every year. They love the adventure of travel.
When people ask us where our individuals go for fun, we have an easy answer—the same places you do. You’ll find us at athletic events, movies, libraries, shopping malls, concerts, public speeches and plays. We volunteer on civic projects, like cleanups or tree plantings. We’re mainstays at parades and fairs. We attend cultural events and art museums.
Regular outings allow our individuals to explore what they like and don’t like and make new friends along the way.