Our state is in a crisis – that’s not news to anyone. Some of the crisis is self-made from some “advocates” who have pushed inaccurate information to our legislators. The false information and reports based on inaccurate data were utilized in decision making – decisions that are now coming back to bite us.
There are some solutions but people will have to acknowlegde some mistakes that were made. Here is just one solution – retention of Direct Support Staff –
We need to think of Quality of Life for our citizens with developmental disabilties. Having staff turnover rates up up to 44% is not only disturbing but dangerous and expensive. Do you know that if we changed and tweeked the system just a little, we could save over $28,000,000 and improve the quality of life not only for residents but also for caregivers?
Do you know that moving some residents to small community homes will be imprisonment for them? Without staff to care for them or staff to take them to appointments and community outings, they will be imprisoned in their homes – is this the type of life that you would wish on anyone?
One can clearly see there is a huge problem: Not even taking into account the effect on residents and the loss of knowledge and skills in relating to residents when staff leave, the lack of continuity in care (all which add to stress and increased behavior issues in residents), all the other issues with staff turnover that are seen in the business world are seen here too.
On average it is concluded that it costs about the annual salary of the person to replace that person – so given that, how much money could be saved in retention of staff (increased wages would help and would clearly offset the cost of staff turnover) which would then improve the quality of life.
Group Home Direct Care Staff make roughly $10.00/hour (some more, some less range is $8.55 – 13.62 in 2010) so that calculates out to about $20,000 for each person – so for 2010 in group homes that comes to $2,100,000 dollars on just staff turnover!!!!
Supported Living is $28,900,000
Now those are some ridiculous numbers – One of the keys to this problem is to look at staffing and how to retain the staff – This is what will not only save money but improve the quality of life for EVERYONE!!!
Now is the time to think about new systems – think outside the box (sorry for the cliche)
The data for this chart was obtained from the DDD Residential Programs Staffing Wage & Turnover Study, years 2008, 2009 and 2010
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