1. Find out how the employees feel about the organization.
As a parent, it is your job to research the organization that is going to be responsible for taking care of your child, and there is no better way to do this than by visiting websites with employee reviews. Glassdoor, Indeed, and A Great Place to Work are a couple of sites you can use to investigate employee’s feelings about the agency. Visiting the sites can give you a feel for the organization’s culture, the pros and cons of working there, and the wages. The information is valuable because it gives an insider’s view of the business. If the workers are unhappy with the leadership, pay, and there are more cons than pros, then this is not the place for your family member. A lot of negatives usually indicate high turnovers which can be counterproductive in your loved one’s livelihood. Studies show jobs with high satisfaction rates usually have employees who are dedicated, committed, and involved in doing their job to the best of their ability. Therefore, happy workers equate to better quality and service.
2. Is the organization proactive in developing the residents
Any group home you intend on putting your loved one in needs to be innovative, active in the community, invested in their client’s work and social life balance and devoted to enhancing life skills. You want your family member to be somewhere that will improve their quality of life and continually cultivate the development of its programs. It is critical for your loved one to live the best life possible while being a resident of a facility. If the organization does not show any initiative to improve their services, programming, or curriculum, then you should look elsewhere.
3. Is the organization involved in the community
Community involvement is essential for individuals with special needs and the overall financial health of the business. Many social service agencies are nonprofit and receive funding from various sources but mainly through fundraising tactics. Bringing valuable attention to a cause requires outreach, interactions and partnerships with stakeholders, consumers, and companies. If the organization is not active in the community, it usually means that outings outside of the facility are probably scarce, there aren’t many partnerships, the volunteer base isn’t up to par, and contributions are probably weak. What does this mean for your family member? Their social life will not be as active as a child living in a residential facility that receives local support from businesses, sponsors, volunteers, and the workforce. Also, the availability to get innovative equipment, help from outside sources and extracurricular activities is probably limited.
4. Ask for a tour
Once you figure out housing facilities in the area, it is important to schedule a tour. The tour will give you a feel of the everyday life of the residents, and it will let you know if others living there are happy with the services they receive. During your tour, you should hear testimonies of the services that are being provided, and you should ask the staff how they feel about working there and why they enjoy their job. You will be surprised by the answers, and you will be able to see if they’re sincere or just buying time until a better job comes along.
5. The census
Ask questions about the demographics of people living in group homes. It isn’t prudent to group teenagers with senior citizens or put a woman in a group home with men or combine high functioning individuals with those who are unable to be active. The activity level of the home as a whole is based on the majority of the residents. Seniors living in a residential facility may want to relax more while younger adults may want to be active outdoors, listen to loud music, or play video games.
I hope this information helps you when deciding to place your loved one in a residential facility. Remember scouting homes is like scouting for colleges. You want the best for your child, and the organization should want and demonstrate the same.