BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Tom DeToro - President
Frank Rudge - Vice President
Marsha Petrillo - Secretary
Sandra Moyer - Board Member
Roshelle Green - Board Member
Cindy F. Vogan - CEO
Donna Young - CFO
Donna Nicastro - Compliance Officer
Giavauna Ruzich- Human Resources Director
Matthew Borsa - Director: Adult Training Facility / Community Participation Program
Jocelyn Jackson - Director: Residential Program / Family Living Specialist
Mindi Jones - Director: Unlicensed Programs
Rick Ruzich- Director: Employment Services
ABOUT OUR STAFF:
Your Program Manager is the person who will lead the WLS team to support you in developing your Individual Support Plan and Outcomes. They direct and manage the DSPs. Program Managers write your plan, create charting, monitor your progress, and lead your meetings, while DSPs implement the goals to support accomplishment of the outcomes. They monitor the amount of units you use in order to help ensure you utilize your budget efficiently. You should contact your Program Manager with any questions or concerns that you have. If you are not pleased with your Program Manager you may contact the CEO to discuss your concerns.
DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS (DSPs)
The employees who provide direct care and support at Whole Life Services are called Direct Support Professionals. Throughout the remainder of this document they will be referred to as DSPs. Our agency is committed to providing on-going training for our staff. We are required to give DSPs (24) hours of training per year, but we often surpass this expectation. We send our staff to training across Pennsylvania so we remain current with new approaches for support and the State's philosophy. We also distribute materials for the staff to read and summarize. From the top down at Whole Life Services Inc., the staff are encouraged to maintain a teachable spirit despite their level of education and experience. Management and Direct Care Workers can always learn something.
We assign staff based on who we think will be a good match with the person considering their needs, and desired outcomes. When a DSP calls in sick, or takes a vacation, we assign substitute staff. We do our best to inform you in advance. This may not be possible if we have a last minute call off. Sometimes there are schedule changes over which we do not have control. Staff resign, positions may be discontinued or lay-offs may occur due to funding, and sometimes we may have to terminate staff based on their performance. An infraction committed may not involve you or your loved one, but another person they support. They may have to be terminated even if they are doing a good job serving you. In general, there is turnover in the field of disability. We make every effort to treat our staff well so they will stay. So how do we address staffing issues?
1.) We do our best to make sure the people we serve get to know other staff by interacting in the community. DSPs create opportunities to get together, allowing the people we serve the chance to become familiar with other DSPs. So when there is a staff change for any reason, the people we serve already know their new DSP.
2.) If you have a service with a (1:1) ratio, attend more than one day a week, and struggle with changes in routine, we strongly encourage you to have (2) different DSPs. Then if one takes vacation, or leaves the agency, there is another DSP with whom you are already familiar. This greatly assists with the adjustment process.
3.) When we train substitutes, they spend time shadowing current DSP's so they learn about the individualized needs of the people we serve. When the substitutes are then called out the people we serve already know their face.
4.) If you choose, you do not have to accept substitute staff. You may make the decision to be absent from services if you are not comfortable with the sub. You need to have this agreement with your Program Manager so we can inform you when your staff person is not available. This will afford you the opportunity to decide what to do with your day and line up any needed supervision.
However, we encourage you to try to build relationships with many DSPs. As is the case with our teachers, therapists, and even doctors, there are days when we all must learn to accept change. Remember, it took time to get to know your regular staff at first. Whole Life Services prefers to not make staff changes. We know that many people we serve do better with consistency, but we are simply not able guarantee how long an individual we serve will have the same DSP. We hope that if you have a concern you come forward immediately.