FULTON, NY â€“ For the past 24 years the Community Based Family Care Program has provided adults with a mental health disability the opportunity to live and interact in their community.Â The caring individuals and families who have chosen to open their home to these adults are making a real difference in that personâ€™s life and the community that they live in.
Home providers offer a safe, caring home and provide the resident with their own living space, three meals a day, supervision of any medications, support and guidance in regards to their schedule, and development of their basic living skills. During the day residents keeps busy with a variety of daily activities as they access a number of local mental health programs and services and participate in recreational and social activities a minimum of 4 days per week. Staff from the Community Based Home Care program assist home providers in arranging for and/or provide transportation as necessary. Providers receive reimbursement if they do provide the transportation.
In return for their willingness to help others, home providers are compensated with a monthly allotment of $772.48 per month; a vacation allowance of $749 twice per year, reimbursements for any transportation they provide for their resident, as well as other needs entitlements.
OCO Family Care Specialist, Penny Foster-Pratt, who works closely with the programâ€™s home providers said that she and other staff members provide assistance and training as needed.
â€œWe are very appreciative of our family care home providers and see to it that they receive the training and support they need. Our home providers receive monthly training on pertinent issues such as how to effectively communicate with the residents, special diet and nutritional needs, CPR and first aid, as well as 24- hour staff support, and semi-annual respite,â€ said Foster-Pratt.
To help ensure the success of the program, Foster-Pratt explained that all participants are screened and matched with a suitable home provider who is excited to welcome them into their home.
â€œHome providers are opening their hearts to help a neighbor in need. We do everything we can to make sure that both the providers and the residents are comfortable with their living situation,â€ said Foster-Pratt.
In addition, all home providers are certified through the NYS Office of Mental Health. The process helps create a positive experience for both the participant and the home provider. Home providers also have the final say as to whom they choose to accept in their home.
â€œHome providers in our Community Based Family Care Program find it to be personally rewarding. Knowing that they are not only helping their community but also offering support to others by helping them learn the necessary skills to live on their own makes it a very worthwhile experience. They often find that the residents are good company and in many instances consider them part of the family,â€ said Foster-Pratt.
Due to the success and increased demand for the Community Based Family Care program there is currently a need for more home providers.
Home providers can become certified whether they own their house or are renting.
For more information on the Community Based Family Care Program, or becoming a home provider, call Foster-Pratt at 598-4710, ext. 1094.