The staffing plan
The staffing plan for an organization that is designed to provide for the direct care of individuals with developmentally disabilities is a complex one. But it needs to be in order to provide the necessary care for handicap people and to help integrate them into the community as well as meeting their needs within their separate homes.
From the direct care staff to the CEO, each person has a separate job title and job duty but all must work as a team and in a successful and caring company. This is accomplished on one accord: that the residents come first and are the reason for the formation of the company in the first place.The most important aspect of the staff within a group home is the developmental trainers. They are responsible for the direct care of the individuals while at home and at their place of employment. They are usually going to be the least paid because of the number of developmental trainers are needed and due to the state and federal funding restrictions.
This has its disadvantages due to the fact that the lower pay will usually attract college students who will be leaving once they graduate college or individuals that will add to the attrition rate of the company. But this is the nature of the job unfortunately and the problem can usually be decreased by employing only caring and selfless people who see the occupation as not just a job but rather have a love for the residents of the home and who will quickly form a bond with the people that they are responsible for.The number of developmental trainers needed for each house is an important factor as well. Many organizations will want to avoid paying overtime to their workers on all levels so there must be enough staff to avoid this extra expense. Most group homes will house eight residents and depending upon any history of physical behaviors, two staff should be efficient during the week day and a single staff for every shift on the weekend. This is not the case on the youth homes; homes that house residents under the age of eighteen.
By state and federal regulations, the ratio should not exceed 4:1, four residents for every staff member and any change in this ratio can lead to stiff fines levied against the organization and will wish to be avoided.Directly above the developmental trainers in the chain of command will be the House Supervisor. This person is the supervisor that the direct care staff will see the most and will report to directly. She will oversee the scheduling of the staff and be ready to alter the schedule or even cover a shift if a worker cannot make a shift and a replacement cannot be found on such short notice. She is also in charge of budgeting for the needs of the house as well as the residents. She will set forth the budget of the resident based upon their needs as well as their income and will instruct the direct care staff to follow the budget for the resident.
A civil rapport between the House Supervisor and the direct care workers is essential to an efficiently run home.Directly above her is the QMRP which stands for Coordinator for Mentally Handicapped Persons. She is not seen a great deal by the staff but spends most of her time at the corporate offices creating programs for the residents in order that they achieve their ultimate goal of community integration. The QMRP will have a degree in the field of social services and will be able to write these programs for the residents. These will consist of life goals that the resident will need if they are expected to be out in the community.(Isome, 2001) This will include, being able to write and to say their one address and telephone number, budget their own money and to complete their daily hygiene goals successfully and on a consistent basis.
In order for the residents to complete these tasks, constant repetition is required as well as an understanding of what the learning potential of the resident is and not to exceed that or future growth may be stunted.An organization of this type will need experienced nurses in the event that any of the residents get sick as well as to oversee their medication changes and reactions. Each resident will most likely be on numerous medications. This is needed to offset the potentially harmful affects of their mental and physical disabilities. An organization of dozens of residents will need a rotation of nurses that will need to be on call around the clock.
Such an organization will need at least five nurses if there are children as well as adult homes. There would be two nurses on the youth side switching off every twelve hours as well as the same being seen on the adult side. (Andrews, 2003) The fifth nurse would be on location at the day program where the majority of residents would go during the say. The role of the nurse is extremely important and a good nurse is well worth the cost of having her on staff. Also, what is most important is a qualified nurse that is accessible to the residents as well as her coworkers.
Many times, when a nurse is paged in the middle of the night, the response time, as well as the response time needed in the case of an emergency is crucial to the health and well being of the residents.At the top of the chain of command, second only to the CEO of the company would be the coordinators and people within the corporate office. This would include human resources which are charge of staffing and making sure that each staff member had their required training as is required by the state before employment is to begin as well. This would also include the coordinator of the day program. The day program is the location where the residents go during the weekdays in order to be taught important life skills in the attempt to help they integrate into the community and to be as self-sufficient as is within their ability to do so.
The motivation behind this is to give the residents as much self respect as is possible because of the fact that there are many factors within their lives that serve as an impediment to that respect.The CEO of the company is usually the founder of the company and has the final say over every aspect of the organization. It is he that has to make sure that state and federal requirements are being followed and that the company is conducting its business in a lawful and effective way. He is in charge of the hiring of the QMRP and the coordinator and is in direct and daily contact with each of those to ensure that the major functions of the company are working as expected.All of the above can only work when the right staff is employed at the company.
A company is only as good as the people employed their. In order to obtain qualified and caring staff, careful hiring practices need to be put in place in order for this to come to fruition. Developmental trainers usually answer ads in the newspaper that specify the need for caring individuals to oversee the daily living of people with developmentally disabilities. A steady work record is essential as well as a demeanor that suggests that this employee can handle the stress that the residents may place upon him on a daily basis. Also, a background check of the individual is essential as it is discouraged by the state to employee individuals that have substantiated allegations of abuse in their file. This information is found on what is called the Nurses Aid Registry and the responsibility lays within the director of human resources to make sure that this is avoided.
If not, the resident may be placed in direct danger with an employee with a violent and questionable past.House Supervisors are usually individuals that have been developmental trainers and have been promoted. This is preferred since a House Supervisor will have to have firsthand knowledge of the job in order to effectively supervise the daily workings of the homes and be acquainted with the residents as well. A requirement of employment is usually a minimum of one year as a developmental trainer. The QMRP is also required to have experience in this field and many are developmental trainers who have earned their college degree while working as a direct care worker. Recruiting people within the company, helps to decrease the attrition rate as it eliminates surprises by the QMRP as they know the inner workings of the company.
The expectations as well as what to expect from the residents as each one has distinct characteristics are not a surprise either.The nurses and coordinators are usually put through a stringent hiring process. Surrounding colleges with nursing programs might be invited to attend job fairs for the college in order to attract professional nurses. Also, work of mouth from any existing nurses to their past associates is helpful in acquiring additional nurses in which similar qualities as the existing nurse is sought after.The biggest disadvantage within many of these organizations is dealing with the high turnover rate among the developmental trainers, house supervisors and QMRP.
This helps to impede a steady and efficient house as staff come and go month after month. The greatest weapon against this is promoting people within the company. The nature of the job is to expect being yelled at, sat upon, hit, kicked, punched and sometimes completely degraded. Sometimes sever physical and verbal behaviors are seen a daily basis at the day program and it takes a special individual to withstand the abuse and to not respond as many might like. Promoting people within the company help to decrease the surprises which lead to quitting when said individual has been with the company for years and has risen up through the ranks. This is an effective staffing strategy for this type of work and many utilize it on a regular basis.