Why did your organization decide to provide services to individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities?
After working for state and local authorities for a number of years, our team realized that more quality, results-driven HCS providers were needed that would advocate for all persons served. We have witnessed, firsthand, an 11-year old non-verbal person learn to use words after not speaking for his entire life. A 52-year old now recognizes coins and went from managing $5 to now $20 each week. Now stabilized, a 26-year old person diagnosed with Autism has improved his socialization skills by going bowling and engaging in other recreational activities.
These examples came to our realization because we refused to give up on the people we serve. Because our program works and we know that there is more work to be done, we will continue to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
What is IDD?
IDD is an acronym for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The term IDD includes many severe chronic conditions due to mental and/or physical impairments. IDD can begin at any time up to age 22. It usually lasts throughout the person's lifetime. A person who has IDD may have problems with major life activities such as language, mobility, learning, self-help and independent living.
What ages of individuals do you serve?
Because HCS is a long-term services program, it does not have an age cap for individuals to receive services once initiated. We have worked with individuals as young as 9 years old and as mature as 53.
How do you believe you can uniquely provide the services and supports that address the needs of individuals receiving HCS?
Both our Regional Directors and Program Managers have an extensive background in serving underserved communities. They have worked as Services Coordinators in General Revenue and Home and Community-based Services for Local Authorities. As well, they have worked as Investigators for Adult Protective Services and Child Protective Services. Additionally, one of our Program Managers also worked for a licensing division under Department of Family and Protective Services.
Because of our team's background in the field, we are able to advocate for individuals in a more consistent and creative way. We have a better understanding of services and effective approaches to justifying them. Moreover, our team continues to travel to stakeholder meetings in Austin each year to learn, advocate and help improve services for all individuals in care.
Do you serve individuals with complex needs? If so, to what extent?
Some of the most complex individuals that we have worked with include severely Autistc children and adults. From physical aggression, meltdowns, self-injurious behaviors and a host of other experiences, our team has worked with some of the program's most extreme and unique cases.
What type of experience do your Direct Care Staff have serving individuals with Developmental Disabilities or related conditions such as Autism?
While some of our staff have worked with persons served for over 15 years, we have guidelines in place that require all applicants to have a minimum of three (3) years experience working in this field. In addition to their experience, our staff are also required to maintain current CPR and First Aid certification as well as Prevention and Intervention of Aggressive Behaviors training. Throughout their employment, staff are also in-served on Special Needs, Medication Administration and Side Effects, and other direct care topics relevant to the individuals served.
Does your company require pre-employment screenings (i.e., Criminal History Checks)?
Describe ways in which you involve the individual, guardian, and family into the development of the individual's program.
Our Program Manager routinely communicates with individuals and their families. Individuals and their families or guardian are asked questions about care and services as well as constructive input that they believe will make them more successful in the program. With proactive steps, our team ensures that plans are established before concerns arise.
Now that I know more about your program, how do I enroll or transfer my services?
Wonderful! We will be happy to have you. Please contact the Service Coordinator (SC) with your Local Authority for IDD services to notify them of your desire to transfer. The SC will schedule a meeting with you to sign off on the transfer documents and set the effective date of transfer. The SC will also contact our agency to notify us of your intentions. From there, additional meetings will be held to enroll you in our program.
Frequently Asked Questions
We often get calls and emails from individuals or their families about the Home and Community-based Services program. Here are the answers to a few Frequently Asked Questions. If you need more direction or do not see your question listed, feel free to give us a call for assistance.