How can we have stability and sustainability with up to 45% staffing turnover?

Stability and sustainability are critical to adequate care for everyone and most important for our most vulnerable.  With staffing turnover rates of up to 45% where is the stability for those who most require it?

This is the graph from the Division of Developmental Disabilities survey.  King  County has higher wages than the surrounding area – maybe this explains the lower turnover rate?  SOLA’s are state employees and this setting does provide more stability in staffing when compared to non-profit and private supported living homes.

The graph below is taken  from the same survey which indicates the high rate of staff leaving within the first 6 months of employment.  What does this rapid cycling of new staff not only do to the clients but how does it affect the training and staffing costs to the agencies?  Why are these people leaving so quickly?  Is it lack of training, lack of support, inadequate orientation, poor fit to the job, poor wages?

I’ve looked at the IRS 990 Tas Returns for at least 65 non-profit agencies which work with people with developmental/intellectual disabilities in our state.  You can view this excel workbook here:

non profits and financial statements

It is interesting to see the profits of some of these agencies – I can only wonder what the above graphs could look like if some of these agencies with large profit margins could increase the wages of the caregivers just a tad – would that help reduce this rapid cycling of staffing turnover?  Maybe just by slowing the turnover rate a bit the training and education costs would also decrease so the profits may not actually decrease – wouldn’t that be a win-win situation for all?

This is just wishful thinking in my part, I’m sure but I still can not help but think that it could be a possibility?  What do you think?

Support HB 2150

Please support HB 2150

This bill is geared at raising revenue which will be put into a fund to provide for  vendor rates and oversight of community residential service businesses.

Our community residential services for people with an intellectual disability are crumbling.  The devastating cuts have already reduced the low wages of the direct support professionals  (DSP)who provide the daily care to some of our most vulnerable citizens.  We rely on these DSPs to safely care for our loved ones and we need to support them in their jobs.

There is currently at least a 40% turnover rate among DSP – most likely due to the low wages and incredibly challenging work. About one third of these employees work a second job (as reported on TVW January 11, 2012 Public Hearing at House Ways and Means Committee) or work overtime due to staffing needs.   This staffing turnover leads to greater instability in the workforce.  Without a properly trained and rested staff, our family members suffer.  This then leads to injuries – both to staff and residents.

King County DSPs make about 61 cents more an hour than DSPs in neighboring counties.  This disparity causes a problem in the neighboring counties since staff will travel to King County to work and if needed to work overtime will generally opt to take the overtime in King County and call in “sick” to work in neighboring counties.  This causes undue stress to residents and also a higher turnover rate in counties which neighbor King County.

Cost of care as reported by each agency and DSHS payments to each agency based upon support needs of residents

Please encourage your legislators to vote for HB2150 – this will help our state in living up to our Washington State Constitution – Article 13 as shown below.

Washington State Constitution

Article 13

 

 

ARTICLE XIII
STATE INSTITUTIONS

SECTION 1 EDUCATIONAL, REFORMATORY, AND PENAL INSTITUTIONS. Educational, reformatory, and penal institutions; those for the benefit of youth who are blind or deaf or otherwise disabled; for persons who are mentally ill or developmentally disabled; and such other institutions as the public good may require, shall be fostered and supported by the state, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law. The regents, trustees, or commissioners of all such institutions existing at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, and of such as shall thereafter be established by law, shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate; and upon all nominations made by the governor, the question shall be taken by ayes and noes, and entered upon the journal. [AMENDMENT 83, 1988 House Joint Resolution No. 4231, p 1553. Approved November 8, 1988.]

Original text — Art. 13 Section 1 EDUCATIONAL, REFORMATORY AND PENAL INSTITUTIONS — Educational, reformatory and penal institutions; those for the benefit of blind, deaf, dumb, or otherwise defective youth; for the insane or idiotic; and such other institutions as the public good may require, shall be fostered and supported by the state, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law. The regents, trustees, or commissioners of all such institutions existing at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, and of such as shall thereafter be established by law, shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate; and upon all nominations made by the governor, the question shall be taken by ayes and noes, and entered upon the journal. (Washington State Constitution)

http://www.leg.wa.gov/LAWSANDAGENCYRULES/Pages/constitution.aspx

Home Care Referral Agency of Washington State

I have been doing research regarding Direct Care Support Professionals and Individual Providers.  I found out about the Home Care Referral Agency of Washington State. This is a resource for both providers and families/consumers.  There are resources for individual providers and agencies.

I’m hoping to get the word out to people who may be looking for a provider to check this out.  It is particularly difficult for parents to find providers for their children and for people with higher acuities in Activities of Daily Living.  This referral service may help.

 

Home Care Referral Video

See other links from this Home Care Referral Agency of Washington State:

Home Care Referral Agency of Washington State