Questions & Answers in Greater Detail
How are your services paid for?
All of our services are “waiver eligible” meaning that the Home and Community Based Waiver Program pays for the services as needed. This funding is accessed through Medical Assistance or PMAP programs. We typically accept CADI (Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals), CAC (Community Alternative Care) and BI (Brain Injury) waivers (formerly TBI waiver). We also accept private pay.
Where are your residential sites?
Our residential sites are in both Dakota and Hennepin Counties. We have sites in Burnsville, Eagan, Rosemount and Bloomington. We work within the neighborhoods of each residential site to build strong relationships that reflect our desire to be a part of the community. Many of the individuals who reside in our residential sites also share in this desire.
What is the process to place an individual in one of our residential sites?
The first step in placement is ensuring that the individual is fit for our services. We assess this by reviewing the individual’s history and meeting with the individual one on one where they are currently placed. Once we have established that the individual is fit for our services we work with the case manager or social worker on securing funding. When funding has been secured we begin developing placement paperwork and programming that the individual will need while in placement. The next step is to schedule a placement date and a meeting to sign all of the paperwork. The entire placement process may take any where from several days to three weeks depending on the needs of both our agency and the individual being placed.
What makes us unique?
Our residential services are rehabilitative, meaning that our objective is to support, teach and help manage the individual’s needs and goals for independence. Rehabilitation is the process of assisting the person in regaining abilities they may have lost due to mental illness, injury or another traumatic event. Our staff is specifically trained using guided techniques that provide a rehabilitative environment. Because our goal is rehabilitation, we offer several different levels of care. Our more intensive environments are for those individuals who are in need of significant structure and support. Our less intensive environments are for those individuals who may be fairly independent; however still need assistance and support from staff. We call our model “rehabilitative foster care”. We believe that when an individual is empowered and able to move towards his goals of independence they will display more motivation and initiative.
Why are we called a “rehabilitative foster care”?
We call our selves “rehabilitative foster care” because our primary focus is on rehabilitation. We work with the individual on a daily basis on areas that need growth. This focus begins in the morning when individuals wake up to their alarm clocks because staff has worked with them on how to set an alarm. It ends in the evening with staff working with each individual on his mental health symptom management. We celebrate when someone in our facility graduates and is able to move to a more independent location. We see this as a great success and are proud to count our increasing number of graduates from our program. We would not see the significant amount of graduations that we do if we did not have the rehabilitative focus.
How is your staff trained?
Each staff is trained extensively before working a t each residential site. Staff is trained on Vulnerable Adults, Resident Rights, Mental Illness signs and symptoms, Brain Injury, Crisis Intervention, Behavior Modification, Philosophy and Medication Administration. Most residential staff has significant experience and education within the field. Staff also attend bi‐weekly staff meetings where training is the primary focus. In addition, staff work with Site Managers and the organization’s Behavior Analyst throughout their employment to continue developing their ability to work with each individual. We believe that bringing our model to life starts with well trained staff. They need to be equipped to handle every situation.
Why are there different levels of sites with in our program?
These “levels” signify change for the individual. This change may take the form of different staffing support needs, different peer living arrangements, or different styles of living. Our goal is to help meet people where they are currently, help them determine where they want to go, and then to be a guide on this part of that journey.
Can individuals who have sustained a brain injury or have a diagnosis of mental illness “get better”?
Yes, they can! A diagnosis of a brain injury or a mental illness does not mean that the individual cannot lead a more productive life working towards his goals and desires. Often times individuals believe that they will not be able to regain any of their independence nor will they ever have the ability to do many of the things they desire- whether that includes getting a job, traveling or being in a relationship. An individual’s ability may be different due to their diagnosis, but many individuals are able to embrace their new circumstances and find a path to reach their goals often times with support from family, friends and staff. Many individuals that have a diagnosis of mental illness understand that they have to learn about their disorder, develop different coping strategies to deal with their disorder, understand their medications and to also educate those around them about the support they need. An individual may have lost most parts of his lifestyle and family relationships that they had prior to an accident or diagnosis. Each individual may suffer with various symptoms and therefore need to modify or adapt their lifestyle according to their needs now.
What does it mean to transition to a more independent setting?
Graduation means that an individual completes goals and develops new routines to be able to move out of a more intensive setting into a less intensive environment. A lesser intensive environment means that there is less staff and structure needed for the individual to function independently and successfully. The individual has been able to incorporate the new skills, routines, coping skills and recovery into his daily life. Many of the individuals graduating from our Level 4/5 facilities move into a Level 3 facility. Others may move into other programs that are less intensive or into their own apartments with support. We are very thoughtful with each graduation by making sure that the individual has the right resources and is ready for increased independence, so they can continue to be successful.
How long does it take to transition to a more independent setting?
It depends. Each individual is different in terms of what is needed at the time of placement. We have had numerous graduations to date; some individuals graduate from Level 4/5 to Level 3, others from Level 3 to Level 1 or out in to the community to live in their own apartment. Some individuals are able to graduate in less than one year and others need three to five years to obtain their goals. The amount of time depends on the individual’s ability to acquire new skills, develop healthy routines, manage medications, physical health and develop a recovery idea in their life. We understand this concern and because of it, we make every attempt to clearly lay out the objectives on how to graduate from the program.