The Arc of Texas (School to Work Transition Local Demonstration Project – Rio Grande Valley-Edinburg Independent School District) 2004

School to Work Transition Local Demonstration Project (Rio Grande Valley)

Statewide Need
The number of people who require personal assistance services has grown is expected to continue to increase. This dramatic growth in the number of people receiving support at home (and thereby avoiding institutionalization) is accompanied by a crisis in finding qualified, motivated personnel to perform personal assistance tasks. The economy and low wages for personal attendants have discouraged potential workers from choosing this line of work, and there is no support system in place to assist those already working in the field. Projects which utilize innovative means have the potential to increase both recruitment and retention of personal attendants.

Project Goal
Develop a best practice model and demonstrate strategies to increase the number of personal attendants available in the community.

Project Summary
Sixteen agencies gathered to discuss the increasing problems related to staff retention and quality of services with direct-care staff. These agencies formed a coalition and surveyed employment needs and concerns at residential and assisted living facilities. Based on the surveys, the coalition developed a centralized employment model designed to recruit, train, and maintain qualified staff at a significantly lower cost for agencies, while ensuring qualified training. With these savings the agencies would be in the position to pay their staff more money and retain them longer, thereby improving the quality of care to consumers with IDD. This project proposed to fund project staff to reach these ends through a training program previously developed by the Arc. They also intended to collaborate with other agencies and make contacts with colleges and universities.

Project Period
Jun 2002 – May 2005

Contact
12700 Hillcrest Road, Ste. 200
Dallas, TX 75230
214-634-9810

Geographic Reach
Dallas