Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Transforming Family Care for the 21st Century

Transforming Family Care conference was held at The Hilton Hotel in Albany. Kenia Peralta, Family Care Coordinator and Myrta Cuadra-Lash, Executive Director represented Sinergia along with statewide Family Care Coordinators, Family Care Providers, Home Liaisons, FC Nurses and Program Directors. Openings remarks were offered by Lucinda Grant-Griffin, Director of Home and Community Living, in addition to the introduction of Acting Commissioner Laurie A. Kelley with comments by Deputy Commissioner Gerald Huber.

Family Care: "The Caregiver lives in their primary residence with no more than four individuals who are unable to live independently and who are fully celebrated, supported, nurtured and integrated into the family lifestyle" .

Richard Niedel, keynote speaker offered a comparison of the New York State Family Care Program and Massachusetts Family Care Program, how the program has been successful in MA and how NY will transform the Family Care program for the 21st Century. Massachusetts' the Family Care Program benefits from wraparound services utilizing additional funding from state agencies for individuals with behavioral needs and Companionship Exemption to family Care through the MA department of Labor. Family Care - A GOOD LIFE, REFLECTIONS ON THE PAST, INSPITATION FOR THE FUTURE. Richard Niedel, Program Director of the Office for Community Living, Springfield, MA.

Goals and proposed Outcomes: Extending the services and benefits to a wider section of the population as in community work to reach beyond and exceed. Finding and hiring the best qualified Family Care Providers in a timely and cost effective manner, and a successful marketing plan to allow the family care program recognition among the target audience. A series of workshops were facilitated throughout the day to the transformation agenda:

  • Challenges and Solutions for Transforming Family Care Training for the Twenty first Century: to develop consistency/constancy to Family Care training system-wide. Employ different training methodologies for the FC manual and align the Family Care and Substitute providers' trainings.

  • Outreach, Recruitment and Marketing-Strategies to meet the diverse needs of Individuals in Family Care: the discussion of different strategies, challenges, barriers and solutions to outreach; and introduce new and innovative ways to recruit family care providers. Best practices to connect to new and innovative outreach, recruitment and marketing.

  • Innovation and Partnerships-Innovative Housing Initiative to strengthen and sustain Family Care Program: The introduction of the HUD approved Counseling Program, financial institutions that partnered with OPWDD and federal/state partnerships.

  • Using Social Media to Transform Family Care in the Twenty First Century: discussed the use of social media in Massachusetts's Family Care Program, the comprehensive screening, background checks and matching program, the use of staff market program to various entities.
State and Agency Sponsored Family Care programs are the most structured and cost effective which ensures the needs, choices and preferences of individuals living in family care are no different from anyone else's needs, choices or preferences. These individuals need a place to live, a place to learn and a place to work. They need love, support, guidance, friends, privacy, and recreation, good physical, mental and emotional health. They do not need to be isolated or made to feel that they are different.

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