The DDD Scoop (4-12-18)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Welcome to the latest edition of the DDD Scoop.

Staff Stability Survey

I am pleased to announce that Illinois will once again be participating in the National Core Indicator Staff Stability Survey. This survey is intended to gather data on the quality and stability of the Direct Support Professional (DSP) workforce. It will include information on staff turnover, wages, benefits, and recruitment/retention strategies for calendar year 2017.

The survey was emailed by NCI directly to each provider agency that serves adults with developmental disabilities who employ DSPs (direct support personnel) during the week of April 2, 2018. The sender is shown as and was sent to the email that the Division has on file based on those who responded to the survey last year. If your agency did not receive a copy, please check with others at your agency to see if they received it, check your "spam" folder, and, if it still cannot be located, email to arrange for your link to be sent. Only one reply per agency is needed.

Participation during the current year is intended to gather additional information that will lead to improved policies and programs to support the DSP workforce and, in turn, better support persons receiving services. In order to ensure that results are representative of Illinois DD providers, it is essential that all providers respond to this survey. A sample survey (to illustrate the types of information that will be gathered) is available on the DHS website at 2017 Survey Sample.

The results of the last survey are now available at 2016 Staff Stability Survey Report.

DSP Dual Employment Pilot

As you may know, the Illinois Department of Human Services recently announced details of the DSP Dual Employment Pilot in a communication to Cook County-area providers. This work training pilot will focus on our dual employment strategy of matching our customers who are looking for work with opportunities to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We have put together an assessment/screening process to identify our customers who have both the interest and ability to serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After customers are identified, they complete a two-day training and a post assessment where we confirm their abilities, access to transportation and job preferences.

The goal is to match 100 graduates from the program with providers in the Cook County area. Providers who have an interest in participating in the pilot were asked to complete a form with details of their staffing needs. This information will be used to match interested and capable customers with providers, who will then reach out to set up interviews for any open positions. The plan is to complete the matches by month's end.

Trainer's Corner

This Trainer's Corner article is from the Personal Outcome Measure's training regarding "People are Safe". Feeling safe and free from danger concerns all of us. Threats to personal safety come from a variety of sources. Concerns about safety apply to our home, workplace, neighborhood, and community. Personal safety may be threatened by physical surroundings, other people, or lack of supports.

Living, working, and leisure time environments must meet all applicable health and safety standards. Places where we spend our time are clean and sanitary. Provisions for handling and securing toxic materials are in place. Plans exist for effectively meeting emergencies, including an evacuation plan that is rehearsed regularly.

Typical environments contain a reasonable amount of risk. Overprotection prevents people from learning. However, people do not face major decisions that have potential for significant risk without first having the opportunity to make decisions with less significant risk. By learning through real life experiences that evolve from less to more significant consequences, people learn to make progressively more complex decisions responsibly.

When having a conversation with a person receiving services, the following questions can be used when determining the presence of the "People Are Safe" outcome:

  • What kinds of safety risks are you concerned about? In your home? In your community?
  • Do you feel safe at home? At work?
  • Is there any place you don't feel safe?
  • What would you do if there were an emergency (fire, illness, injury, severe weather)?
  • Do you have safety equipment at home (smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, a way to see who is at the door before you open it)?
  • Do you have safety equipment at work (protective eye and ear wear, safety devices on machinery)? Is this equipment maintained in good working order?
  • Do you feel safe in your neighborhood?
  • How do you react if a stranger approaches you?
  • Are your living and working environments clean and free of health risks?

It is everyone's right to feel safe in all environments. It is our responsibility to aide in that right for people who are receiving services through your agency.

Information derived from the CQL Personal Outcomes Measures Participant's Manual, provided by the Council on Quality Leadership.

Upcoming Webinar Opportunity

The Case for Palliative Care for People with IDD and Dementia

Register for April 18 webinar.

Pain management and palliative care are often difficult to access for people with both intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and dementia. This webinar uses recent work from the International Summit on Intellectual Disability and Dementia, which defined advanced dementia, proposed how palliative care services (including hospice) may be used and made recommendations for completing advanced directives and advance care planning prior to the extensive progression of dementia. Case examples will help illustrate the value of service integration efforts between intellectual disability and palliative care providers, specialized training for caregivers on end-of-life care and supports, and involvement of adults with intellectual disability early on in their advance care planning.

Please join the National Alzheimer's and Dementia Resource Center for the next webinar in the series on April 18 at 1:00 PM Eastern for one hour.

Participants in the webinar will be able to:

  • Identify three ways in which palliative care may be helpful for people with IDD and dementia and their families;
  • Understand at least four differences in the experience of end of life for people with IDD and dementia;
  • Identify differences in the experience of advanced dementia for people with IDD and dementia as compared to others with dementia; and,
  • Understand three approaches to increasing participation of people with IDD and dementia in the development of their own advanced directives.

Register for the webinar.

The American Society on Aging is hosting this webinar, which is part of the National Alzheimer's and Dementia Resource Center webinar series sponsored by the Administration for Community Living.

Thank you to Kathy Carmody for bringing this training opportunity to our attention!

Home Based Supports and Services Form

An electronic copy of the Employer of Record Implementation Strategy form and instructions for completing the form are now available on the DHS website at the following links: and respectively. The HBS Employer of Record should begin to use this form immediately for all Plans developed on or after the date of this communication. We are aware that some have already started the process using a previously distributed form, in such cases there is no need to re-do those Implementation Strategies.

Based on feedback received from our stakeholders, the following revisions were made to the Consumer Handbook for Home Based Services:

  • Section V, E, the link regarding the Appeals process has been corrected.
  • Section III, the day program title Community Access has been corrected and now reads Community Day Services.
  • Section III and VI, clear distinctions have been made between ISC agencies and ISSA services.
  • Section VII, C, has been revised to include the following language,

The Employer of Record's Implementation Strategy must:

Be completed by the HBS Employer of Record anytime the individual or family has chosen to arrange or oversee services and/or outcomes from the Personal Plan. This might include when services are being delivered by a family member, Personal Support Workers privately hired, Special Recreation Association programs, private day programs, or professionals/therapists who do not accept Medicaid. If you need assistance in completing the form, you can hire a Self-Direction Assistant to help you. When an individual or family has chosen agency based services only (i.e. Community Day Access, agency based Personal Support Workers), it is not necessary to complete this form.

On the Move

Monica Jibben will be joining the Division's Bureau of Program Development and Medicaid Administration on April 16, 2016 as an Administrative Assistant. Previously, Monica worked several years for a local law office as an Administrative Assistant. In 2003, she began State employment with the Division of Rehabilitation Services in Jacksonville. For the first two years she worked contractually with the Home Services Program and for the last 12 years she worked as a Rehabilitation Case Coordinator for the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Monica grew up in Franklin, Illinois, but now resides in Jacksonville with her three daughters, two parrots and loyal canine companion.

Employee Appreciation Event

On Wednesday, April 11, the Employee Appreciation Committee hosted Baseball Day. Amazingly, the weather cooperated and Springfield experienced sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s. Employees were encouraged to wear their team's colors and enjoy a ball park snack. Hotdogs, nachos and popcorn were available during the lunchbreak.

SODC Operations News

Choate Center - On March 31, Choate held its annual Easter ABATE Motorcycle Picnic. This consists of the ABATE (A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education) organization riding their motorcycles out to Choate Mental Health, where they also sponsor a picnic for the entire facility. Hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and dessert were served from Noon-3pm. Choate's Rehab Department grilled over 250 Hamburgers and Hot Dogs for the facility and motorcycle riders. Rehab also provided music and entertainment. ABATE raised money and purchased several awesome items for the facility which were revealed to the individuals that day. The items include: a new Foosball table AND Air Hockey Table for the Recreation Lounge! Also included was a new Grill for the coming years of ABATE picnics and other BBQs! They were also able to obtain an I-pad for the Karaoke machines. They ordered every individual their very own ABATE T-Shirt, and small gift bags were also handed out. At the end of the event the Brothers of the ABATE Organization like to offer motorcycle rides to the individuals. This is usually a big hit with our clientele. This event is something we all look forward to. It's a lot of work but it's a very rewarding day!

Fox Center - Fox Center individuals recently attended a musical in Morris. Arrangements had been made for tickets to be left at the door, but they were not there. Before staff could pay (out of their own pockets to be reimbursed later) an unknown gentleman stepped up to pay for admission. He adamantly declined reimbursement. This Good Samaritan said he was happy to see Fox individuals attending events like this in the community.

Kiley Center - Several individuals attended Special Olympic tournaments for basketball and basketball skills at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. The Kiley Kroakers won a bronze medal with a victory score of 58 to 26. They lost their other game, but it was a close call with the final score being 38 to 34. A Kiley player received a special award for Sportsmanship. Congratulations to all the players!

Ludeman Center - Ludeman's Educational Vocational Department has started up its Recycling Program. The Food Services program has expanded by allowing additional individuals to perform different tasks throughout the week at the Café. The Center is working on a process of establishing a Retail Shop which would sell items that are made by the individuals during workshop.

Mabley Center - Twenty-two Mabley Athletes recently participated in Special Olympics Time Trials at Westwood Sports Center. Volunteers assisted with timing, scorekeeping and measuring athlete's events. The Javelin throw is our newest event, and several athletes are excited to try this new competition. Mabley will compete at Spring Game in Rockford on May 5.

Murray Center - The Murray Activity Department is sponsoring a rummage sale April 28-29 to raise funds for summer activities and supplies for other fun activities for Murray residents.

Shapiro Center - Individuals in the Best Buddies program participated in an event on the Olivet Nazarene University campus. They enjoy participating in themed activities and spending time with their buddies and peers.

How Deep is Your Bench?

As we move closer to my last days as Director, the more questions I receive about our transition plan. While I anticipate a formal announcement will be going out shortly, you can rest assured that the Division is in very capable hands. Over the last three years, a priority area of focus has been succession planning and development of our bench strength. I have no doubt that the strength of our bench will ensure a seamless transition. The value of a deep bench cannot be overstated and was exemplified in this year's NCAA Men's Championship Game on April 2nd between the Michigan Wolverines and the Villanova Wildcats. If you follow College Basketball, then you probably know that this year's "National College Player of the Year" was Jalen Brunson, who plays for the Villanova Wildcats. So, it really wasn't a tremendous surprise that Villanova - a number 1 seed - won the game by a wide margin. What was, however, surprising was the way in which they did it - not through the play of Brunson, but instead from the outstanding performance of a bench player, Donte DiVincenzo. DiVincenzo, a redshirt sophomore, stole the show by scoring 31 points on 10-of 15 shooting and dominating the game on both ends of the court. He set a record for most points scored in a championship game by a bench player. Surprisingly, Jalen Brunson remained on the bench for long periods in the second half, largely because the Villanova coach had complete confidence in his bench players.

Villanova's successful strategy affirms what effective teams and organizations have always known - teams and organizations are only as effective as their bench strength. If a team's success is solely dependent on its starters, it could run into a problem when the starters come out of the game, get hurt or leave the team altogether. Successful coaches understand the importance of developing the full potential of each and every player - not just the starters - because teams never know when someone on the bench will be called on to take on a key leadership role.

Importantly, in our organizations, we are never really sure who will be our Donte DiVincenzo when called on to make a key contribution during a critical time. As leaders, we have an obligation to prepare our employees to be in the right position with the right skills to make an important contribution. We do this by creating opportunities for bench players to gain invaluable leadership experience - for example, heading task forces or leading work groups. That type of exposure enables them to do what most of us in leadership positions do - make mistakes, learn and grow from them.

The important lesson here is that staff turnover is inevitable and each year we will experience the loss of key staff due to retirements or promotional opportunities. As such, it is imperative that we develop a deep bench and that we identify, attract and retain talented staff so that we ensure a steady stream of talented staff to meet present and future organizational demands.

Have a great weekend!