What Families Say About Staff

What Families Say About Staff

The difference staff make

Louise & Robert Gendreau - It’s not just the physical care. It’s the social care –the relationship. It’s the spiritual. The team is her arms and legs. It’s also her voice. That takes quite a bit of work, but they are able to put the work in and help Alice to communicate.

Catherine Oakleaf - Our most successful staff have been people who have a lot of respect for Stephen. People who share our vision for Stephen as someone who is a grown man, a homeowner, a valued employee.

Pat Winter: (When staff) can’t see who the individual is as you do, they might be out in the community but they’re not helping the person develop relationships. They’re just making sure they’re safe. They see the disability; they don’t see the person.

Recruiting & Matching Staff

Robin Acton- We want somebody who shares an affinity with Erin for a particular activity; somebody who can be a good role model. That means we have multiple people. It makes it more complicated, but it’s more effective.

Wendy McDonald - The most success we’ve hand is hiring people who have the same interests as Kyle. And he needs somebody to help facilitate the development of relationships, so we’re asking lots of questions about the individual’s ability to network in their own life.

Dave and Kathy Gunderson: It feels like we’re always hiring. I’m always on the watch for someone who might have real chemistry with our daughter. It’s a challenge.

Robin Acton: I want people who are connected to community themselves. The most successful way of recruiting is networking with other people.

Why Staff Leave

Kathy and Dave Gunderson -It’s multiple things. It’s usually positive for people: they are moving on to something they are looking for as a dream for themselves. And when they do go on, the experience they have had with our family and our daughter will stick with them, they see the world for people with developmental disabilities a little differently.

Training Staff

Robin Acton -I’m really clear with new staff about what I expect in terms of how they support Erin. I say, “I want you to think about how you want to be seen in the world, I want you to think about what gives her the best chance of building relationships.”

Kathy and Dave Gunderson -(We want staff to see) where she shows her talents; that Hanna is the driver; that she is looking forward toward the future. And that the future is bright.

Wendy McDonald: We do a lot of reflecting about how to support Kyle’s staff, particularly around community engagement.