We have a national shortage of direct care staff. Multiple systems are competing for the same worker. These employees start without experience and learn on the job. None of these systems pay well. The reasons for the pay variations from one agency to the next have all to do with history, and not with how each value their work.
How do we rise to tackle this challenge? How do we meet the needs of the people who are waiting for services, while at the same time meet the needs of those who are willing and able to serve?
Better knowledge means more effective public policy
We have created a system of care which is cumbersome and complicated. We need to simplify the landscape so that our communities and elected officials understand how we got into this dilemma and how we can get out. Better knowledge of possibilities would lead to legislation, which would fund our service transitions and assert the importance of supporting the family. I will provide more information on these options in the weeks to come.
Better knowledge means more attractive careers
We have expanded the work of the direct care staff member, but we have not established career ladders or credentials. We have joined NADSP to bring their knowledge into the way we think. Starting in early 2018, we will start to build that career ladder. Our strategic plan includes the specialization of training which will support the right outcomes: great jobs for staff and meaningful life for the people we support. Click here to learn more about NADSP.
Better knowledge means more effective planning
We are pursuing the groundbreaking LifeCourse approach, which asks us to look at all the possibilities in life. Click here to learn more about the LifeCourse tools. This approach asserts that some government support is in all our lives. Think about it: we get support where we live for water quality, public sewers, and education. However, we cannot expect every aspect of our lives to be supported with government dollars and services. If we want to deliver on our quality promise, we need to look at all options and mobilize a wider variety of resources.
Better public policy + better careers+ better planning = better wages and no waiting list.
Next week, learn more about better planning and how that would specifically help us help everyone.