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Program Provides Comfort To Persons With Mental Health Disability

FULTON, NY – The Community Based Family Care Program serving adults with a mental health disability has been providing home care in Oswego County since 1987, and became a program under OCO’s Residential Services Department January 2010.

The program is currently in need of homes in Oswego County.

Penny Foster-Pratt, standing, of OCO’s Community Based Family Care program, reviews notes with Ginnie and Arthur Macri. The Macris are home providers for the program.
Penny Foster-Pratt, standing, of OCO’s Community Based Family Care program, reviews notes with Ginnie and Arthur Macri. The Macris are home providers for the program.

In addition to monthly training and staff support, home providers receive an allotment of $772.48 per month, a vacation allowance of $707 twice per year as well as additional needs entitlements.

As participants in Oswego County Opportunities’ Community Based Family Care program, Ginnie and Arthur Macri are opening their hearts and their home to help someone in time of need.

The Macri’s have recently become home providers for the program and have welcomed a resident into their home.

A certified residential program for adults who are recovering from a mental illness, the Community Based Family Care program provides these individuals with the opportunity to live in a caring, supportive home and interact in their community.

Ginnie Macri, who is a personal care aide at the Maple Manor Adult Home in Richland, became interested in the program after seeing a brochure that explained how the program benefited the residents.

“It’s a good program as it provides the residents with a good environment and the personal care and attention they need. I enjoy helping people, and I saw this program as a way in which my family and I could make a difference in someone’s life. This will be a mutually rewarding experience as my family is enjoying our new guest and she is enjoying the companionship of her ‘new family,’” she said.

In addition to providing a safe, caring environment the Macris provide their resident with her own living space, three meals a day, supervision of any medications, support and guidance in regards to her schedule, and development of her basic living skills.

During the day, while they are at work, the Marcris’ resident keeps busy with a variety of daily activities.

Residents in the Community Based Family Care program benefit from a number of local mental health programs and services and are encouraged to participate in recreational and social activities to their best advantage at a minimum of four days per week.

Staff and home providers help to arrange for and/or provide transportation as necessary.

Providers receive reimbursement if they do provide the transportation.

OCO family care specialist Penny Foster-Pratt works closely with the program’s home providers.

“We 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,” 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.

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.

For the Macris and their resident, it’s been an ideal match.

“They are very kind,” said the resident. “They have opened up this wonderful home to me and they have been very helpful.”

Due to the success and increased demand for the Community Based Family Care program there is currently a need for more home providers.

“Our home providers have found the experience to be very rewarding. The residents are good company and our home providers find comfort in the fact that they are helping their community and offering support to those who need it,” said Foster-Pratt.

For more information on OCO’s Community Based Family Care program, or to become a home provider, contact Foster-Pratt at 598-4710, ext. 1094.

For more information, visit www.oco.org