How well qualified is the JARC staff to take care of my loved one?
In accordance with our license requirements from the Agency For Persons with Disabilities, all staff receive thorough criminal background screening, including fingerprinting, FBI checks, local law enforcement checks, complete investigation of driving record history, and three written references. In addition, each staff person must provide an annual medical statement. New staff members always receive intensive on-the-job training under the supervision of experienced staff. Each group home staff person is required to successfully complete CPR/First Aid and Bloodborne Pathogens – HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis B trainings every two years. All staff is trained in The Agency for Persons with Disabilities Zero Tolerance Policy and are Certified Medication Assistants. Staff also participate in regularly scheduled in-service trainings on such topics as medication management and medical care; meal planning, food preparation, and nutrition; behavior management; and residential habilitation.
How many people typically live in a group home?
JARC group homes vary as to the number of men and women who live in a house together. Our homes have either six or eight residents, depending on the conditions of the license that is issued to us by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
Is there a housemother who lives in the house with the residents?
We do not use the term “housemother” to describe the staffing pattern of a JARC group home. We have two full time staff working in each home. The Residential Manager is the person responsible for the management of the house, the care of the residents, and the direct supervision of the Residential Assistant. We provide 24-hour supervision at all times in the group home, and there is always one staff person who sleeps overnight. On the weekends the group homes are staffed by Weekend Residential Staff.
What type of back-up plans do you have if staff cannot come to work?
JARC is very experienced at re-arranging and adjusting staff schedules to compensate for staff absences, whether planned or unexpected. The Residential Managers and Residential Services Director carry cell phones with them around the clock. Alternate arrangements are formulated as necessary to ensure that the residents entrusted to our care are always under the supervision of competent staff.
What cost does a family incur when they place their loved one in a JARC home?
The monthly residential group home fee is outlined in your residential services agreement. Entitlement benefits that the resident receives are applied towards the monthly fee. The amounts of these benefits vary from one individual to another. The JARC monthly tuition does not include spending money, which is used for clothing; personal items, i.e. toiletries; meals and snacks eaten out; and recreational activities that charge admission, i.e. movies, bowling, or concerts. Each resident has an escrow spending account, in which his or her paycheck is deposited. In addition, families are asked to contribute money as needed into the resident’s spending account.
What about medical care and expenses?
The JARC Case Manager assists the group home Residential Manager in scheduling and making necessary arrangements for the medical and dental appointments for each resident. In addition to annual medical and dental checkups, medical appointments, including visits to specialists and emergency care, are usually scheduled by JARC staff, who will accompany the resident. The costs of medical treatments are either covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or supplemental insurance if applicable. Families are responsible for any uncovered expenses.
What is a typical day like for someone living in a JARC group home?
On weekdays a typical day begins around 6:00 to 6:30 am with people getting up, dressed, and performing personal hygiene tasks first thing in the morning. They have a healthy breakfast and are driven in the van to their work place or individual day program by the group home staff. The residents eat their lunch at work. Lunch is prepared in the home the day before, where staff supervises the choices made by the residents, to ensure appropriate selections. In the afternoons, staff transports the residents home from their day programs between 3:30 pm and 4:00 pm. After work, the residents are busy in the home with their household chores, leisure activities, socializing with volunteers, exercising, and assisting staff in cooking dinner. One evening each week, the residents enjoy going out to eat. After dinner there may be special activities planned or residents may choose to relax and watch television.
What are some of the things the residents do when they are not working?
On weekends and during the week most of the residents in our homes enjoy the same kinds of activities that we all enjoy. They do such things as going out to eat, seeing movies, bowling, and swimming, shopping at the mall, going to concerts, and enjoying family visits.
What about religious activities?
Although the JARC group homes have a traditional Jewish atmosphere, we believe that each resident has a right to choose his or her own desired level of participation in religious activities. On Saturday mornings the residents who choose to go are given the opportunity to attend Shabbat services at Temple Beth El in Boca Raton. In addition, a full schedule of Judaic holiday celebrations is offered for the residents. If a person does not choose to participate in religious activities, he or she is not forced to do so. The fact that JARC is a Jewish organization does not mean that we exclude other religious faiths. We will assist anyone in attending religious services at the place of worship of his or her faith.
How often can I write, phone, or visit my loved one?
JARC supports and encourages contact between the persons we serve and his or her loved ones. You may write, visit, or call as often as you’d like. During the first thirty day transitional period, however, we ask families not to take a resident home for overnight visits, in order to facilitate the resident’s integration into the group home. If frequent phone calls are upsetting an individual, we may work out an arrangement where initial contact is limited until such time as the person has adjusted to his or her surroundings. We support conditions both parties put on phone calls or visits, and we always encourage healthy relationships. JARC also accommodates families and loved ones in securing travel for the person we serve when this is necessary. In some cases the agency will transport your loved one ourselves; while in other cases we will make travel arrangements for your loved one if you are unable to make the trip.
Do you have set visiting hours?
Families and friends are always encouraged to visit their loved one. Residents are usually taken out of the group home by families for visits, especially on weekends for day activities or overnight stays. Although we do not have set hours for visiting, we do ask that families be considerate of the needs of the other residents in the group home, especially on the weekends when schedules are often filled with activities. Families are encouraged to plan pickup and return times in the early or later parts of the day, to enable the other residents to participate in their planned activities. It is advised that families check with staff in advance to arrange for mutually convenient visiting hours.
How do we know how our loved one is doing and what progress he or she is making?
We believe that an open line of communication between the agency and the families of our residents is very important. Families are always encouraged to call the group home staff to discuss any issues concerning their loved ones and you will also be contacted by staff whenever any significant event occurs. You will be invited to attend an annual Individual Service Plan (ISP) meeting that will be held for each resident, to review the individual’s progress, program, and future goals. At any time additional meetings will be scheduled when necessary to deal with individual situations.