The Brighter Future Awards are awarded to individuals who made a difference in someone else’s life. Former staff members nominated Chaz E. for the “Self Advocacy Award”, and Theresa L from Mama Sugars Personal Care Home for the “Financial Advocacy Award”. They both won.
Five Supports Coordinators from Quality Progressions were nominated for the 19th Annual Points of Transformation awards, hosted by Intellectual disAbility Services (IDS).
LEA FOSCO • JESSICA FOX • SHENETTE MOODY • ANGELYNN (ANGIE) SEATON • AUDREY RODNEY
The Points of Transformation Awards celebrate the accomplishments of those who have committed their careers to supporting people with intellectual disAbility and/or Autism. These direct service professionals exemplify IDS’s logo: It's all about community! The people nominated are models of excellence, compassion, commitment, growth and achievement. The winners will be announced on September 20, 2019, at the DBHIDS Conference Center, Philadelphia.
Below are the nominations submitted to IDS for the SCs exemplary work:
LEA FOSCO—a Supports Coordinator (SC) at Quality Progressions —was nominated for her work with Natasha, a 28-year-old African American diagnosed with mild intellectual disability as well as cerebral palsy, which has left her wheelchair-bound. In her person-centric attitude toward Natasha’s case, Lea has exemplified the mission of Quality Progressions’ SCs: to be people-driven, committed, and progressive in their relationship to individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Lea has proven herself to be an integral part of the community it takes to allow Natasha to live the everyday life she wants and deserves.
For four years, Lea has worked tirelessly to help Natasha find living situations that best suit her changing needs and wants. The path to happiness is rarely straight, and Natasha has struggled to find a place where she is comfortable and happy. And for four years, Lea has not given up on her commitment to Natasha’s right to live her every day life in a place that nurtures her and feels like home. Each time Natasha said that she wanted to try a new provider agency or home, Lea helped Natasha search for a place that could work for her. Yet despite their work, Natasha was not happy with her living situation.
Then, two years ago, Natasha celebrated her engagement to her fiancé Will, who also has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Once they were engaged, Natasha and Will told Lea that they were interested in living together in a Community Living Arrangement (CLA).
Once again, Lea went to work—sending referrals and meeting with multiple agencies—to find a provider that is wheelchair accessible and would accept Natasha and Will together. After many meetings and conversations, Lea found an accommodating agency and a home that, with renovations, could work perfectly for the couple.
After visiting the home, Natasha and Will agreed. The couple will move into their new home in the fall after the renovations are complete, and a team is meeting to discuss the details and logistics of the move. Without Lea’s dedication and commitment to the idea that Natasha and Will had a right to live the life they wanted in a home that worked for them, none of these wonderful changes would have happened for Natasha.
Lea’s work with Natasha and Will is the personification of support, community, and commitment. She unfailing believed that Natasha deserves to live her life as she chose and that, with dedication and persistence, they would find a wonderful home and a well-matched agency where Natasha and Will could live their every day lives joyfully, together.
* * *
JESSICA FOX - a Supports Coordinator (SC) at Quality Progressions is being nominated for a Points of Transformation award for her work with RF, who wanted to transition out of Lifesharing and into a more independent living situation.
As an SC, Jessica cares deeply about the individuals with whom she is privileged to work. She builds meaningful and trusting relationships with the people she supports and their families, and in doing so, she is an integral part of the community it takes to help individuals live their every day lives in the way they wish. At Quality Progressions, the SC’s mission is to be people-driven, committed, and progressive in their relationship to individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. By listening to each individual’s concerns, wants, and needs, and by helping them achieve their goals, Jessica is a role model for person-centric care and a compassionate advocate.
After living in a Lifesharing home, RF contacted Jessica and expressed his interest in getting his own apartment and becoming more independent. Knowing how important this was to him, Jessica quickly began to work with RF to determine exactly what he wanted in his new home and what he needed in order to accomplish that goal. Through their conversations, Jessica and RF realized that he would still need some situational support—such as support for medical appointments—and that a provider with flexible services and supports would be his best opportunity for the life he wanted.
While maintaining frequent contact with RF, Jessica helped find a provider who offered the flexible services and support that RF needed to live as independently as possible. She then facilitated the apartment search and maintained open lines of communication between RF, his sister, his current provider, and the new provider.
In June 2019, RF viewed an apartment he really liked, which spurred him to decide he was ready to move. Jessica continues to support RF in his steps toward greater independence as he transitions to his new home.
Through her open communications, compassion, and commitment to the idea that RF should live his every day life as he wished, Jessica has helped build and maintain the community RF needs to realize his dream of more independent living. Her patience and her person-centric attitude make her a role model for SCs at Quality Progressions and a deserving nominee for the 19th Annual Points of Transformation award.
* * *
SHENETTE MOODY - a Supports Coordinator (SC) at Quality Progressions — is being nominated for her work with Rayshon, a 21-year-old African American with mild intellectual disability, psychosis, schizophrenia, anxiety, Jacob’s Syndrome, and autism.
At Quality Progressions, SCs are encouraged to be people-driven, committed, and progressive in their relationship to individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families, and Shenette’s work with Rayshon and his family is an embodiment of that mission and proof that it takes a community of caring, committed people to ensure that consumers are in safe, nurturing environments for them and for their families. By working as quickly as possible to resolve Rayshon’s case and help him and his family improve their every-day lives, Shenette was a roll model in person-centric care.
Since the age of 3, Rayshon had lived with his Great Grandmother, Willie Mae, and his sister. While the living arrangement worked for the family for many years, as Rayshon grew into an adult, Willie Mae struggled to care for her great grandson as her own health declined and his behaviors became more apparent.
After Willie Mae called Shenette to explain the challenges the family had been facing in Rayshon’s care—including frequent accidents in the middle of the night, his anxiety if two people spoke to him at once, if his routine changed, or if he thought people were staring at him, as well as occasions where Rayshon was verbally and physically abusive toward his Great Grandmother and his sister—Shenette quickly began to work to get him enrolled in the Consolidated Waiver (CW).
Then, on June 10, 2019, Willie Mae called Shenette and said that the family almost had a crisis situation over the weekend and needed help—immediately—because she was concerned for her and his sister’s safety. Within a week of the desperate phone call, Shenette finished getting Rayshon enrolled in the CW and he moved into his new home that same day.
When Shenette called Rayshon’s family to give them the good news, Willie Mae was so overwhelmed with gratitude that she cried on the phone. Today, Rayshon is doing well and is happy in his new home, and his family is grateful for the dedicated, quick work Shenette did to ensure they were all safe and living in the best situations for all of them.
Shenette’s work with Rayshon and his family exemplifies the community it takes to care for individuals and make sure they live their every day life in a way that works for everyone involved. Throughout this case, Shenette worked diligently and patiently with Willie Mae, never rushing their conversations and making sure that Willie Mae knew she was heard and that Shenette was doing everything she could, as quickly as she could, to help the family and get Rayshon into a better living situation for him, his sister, and Willie Mae. Shenette is proof that it takes a community of the individuals, their families, and a dedicated SC to make sure everyone is living their every day life as they choose.
* * *
ANGELYNN (ANGIE) SEATON - a Supports Coordinator (SC) at Quality Progressions — has been an exceptional and tireless worker for her consumers. At Quality Progressions, SCs are encouraged to be people-driven, committed, and progressive in their relationship to individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families, and Angie exemplifies that mission, going above and beyond for the individuals she serves. She is proof that it takes a community. Her work during the last two years with Doris exemplifies her commitment to the individuals she serves, her perseverance in ensuring that individuals live the “everyday life” they choose, and her passion for ensuring that her consumers have the support and the opportunities to direct their own living arrangements.
In 2016 when Angie began working for Quality Progressions, Doris had long been living in a Community Living Arrangement (CLA) with the same provider—first in one CLA for 7 years and then in her most recent CLA for 6 years.
Then in 2017, having lived in CLAs for 14 years, Doris began to express a desire to try a Lifesharing Arrangement. Angie immediately began the process of initiating a search for an appropriate Lifesharing Arrangement. She organized team meetings to make sure everyone understood Doris’ desire to live in a Lifesharing Arrangement—specifically with a younger woman without children and without dogs. Yet after several meetings during which the team was tasked with moving forward in the search for potential homes, Doris was still in her CLA with no intakes scheduled.
After months of no real movement in finding Doris a new home, Angie took matters into her own hands. She reached out to other organizations for Lifesharing, attended intakes with Doris, and made sure all of the providers knew what Doris was looking for so they could accommodate her requests. Angie explored one home with an interested woman only to realize that the arrangement would not work, so she doubled down on her search. She eventually found a provider with a woman who seemed like an excellent fit for a Lifesharing Arrangement with Doris. Doris completed several successful visits and even spent a holiday with the Lifesharing provider, yet some team members felt the move was inappropriate and that Doris should remain in her current home.
Angie refused to give up on Doris’ right to live the every day life she wanted in a place that would suit her needs and give her the Lifesharing arrangement she’d requested. And so Angie pushed on despite the barriers she faced—including cancelled visits and scheduled meetings where team members did not attend.
After two years of determination and with a deep commitment to Doris and her right to decide how she would live her everyday life, Angie and Doris succeeded. Doris and the Lifesharing provider—a woman with whom Doris shares many interests—decided they were an excellent match, and Doris finally moved into the home in June 2019.
Angie’s story with Doris is a perfect example of her commitment to individuals living the every day life they choose. She’s proof that it’s takes a community to ensure that individuals thrive where and how they choose, and she is a model of compassion, perseverance, and achievement for her consumers.
* * *
AUDREY RODNEY - a Supports Coordinator (SC) at Quality Progressions — plays one of the most important roles in the disAbility services field. While their main job is to locate, coordinate, and monitor services and supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities, they often take on additional roles in order to best serve the individual. This is especially true for Supports Coordinators (SCs) who take on individuals in their time of crisis. During emergency situations, the ability to advocate and navigate the IDS system is crucial.
Audrey, an SC with Quality Progressions, has developed incredibly strong relationships with many of the individuals on her caseload by being a patient, down-to-earth, and dedicated support in their life. Through demonstrating heart and persistence, Audrey has been able to connect with individuals and their family members when no one else has been able to, which has changed many lives. For this reason, Quality Progressions is proud to nominate Audrey for Direct Support Professionals of the Year Award in Supports Coordination.
One instance of Audrey going above and beyond is when Audrey came on board as the SC for an individual Joan in Jan 2019. Joan had lived at home with her parents all her 54 years of life. Joan has multiple health issues and daily living care needs. In October 2017, Joan lost her mother. Even though her father did the best he could, he was able to provide Joan the care she needed at home. Even though Joan had caring siblings, none was able to provide a home for Joan. Therefore, Joan moved into a residential home in April 2018. When Joan came to Audrey is January 2019, Joan had been previously discharged from two SCOs and had a residential provider discharge active. The discharges were not due to Joan herself rather the unworkable teams. The family had a lot of mistrust and misunderstanding with the ID system, which caused anger and accusations.
Audrey first steps were to bring the team together and figure out what Joan needed. Countless calls, emails and meetings were had. There was no mending the residential relationship with the family so the referral process began. Joan’s family and program were extremely important to her so location was a top priority. Due to her health concerns, the home environment and staffing were also essential.
Joan had not been in her current home even a year she was being told she had to move out by no fault of her own. As anyone can image this was an extremely emotional time for Joan. During this critical period, Joan looked to Audrey for answers, strength and support. While Joan struggled to come to terms with discharged but Audrey made Joan feel like she had a choice in her future. Audrey had been honest about the process and kept Joan updated with every referral. Joan was able to tour and pick her new home. Joan finally felt in control in her life. Audrey has exhausted herself working on Joan’s behalf to ensure she gets to live a meaningful and inclusive life. Joan moved into her new home in April 2019. Audrey has built trust within the team, which made the transition smooth. Where there was once chaos there is now calm. Joan’s team in now one. Joan has a meaningful, community-based life ahead of her because of Audrey’s support and hard work.