An important message from Community Supports and Development Director, Drew Williams regarding emergency staffing:
The workforce emergency is one of the biggest challenges the Developmental Disabilities system has faced. While there is an upcoming rate increase and work being done at the state level through the Workforce Taskforce. There is the real possibility situations may arise in the immediate future where available staffing levels may not be able to ensure health and safety. I am asking that if the agency you represent is concerned that within 48-72 hours staffing levels may decrease to a point where the health and safety of the people you are providing services to cannot be maintained, or you are considering combining homes please contact me directly. My cell phone is 440-781-2265.
During the height of the pandemic, we were able to connect independent providers with agencies who were in need of temporary staff. In these cases, the provider agency was able to quickly hire these independent providers and avoid a situation where they might have been unable to ensure health and safety. Recently this list was updated and if I am contacted I will reach out to this list and connect them directly to a point person who could best facilitate hiring those interested. I can appreciate that staffing is very fluid, and a notification 2-3 days in advance may not be possible and emergency respite may need to be facilitated. Contacting me is not a replacement for calling Summit DD’s on call hotline (1-800-271-6733) to access immediate emergency respite.
While this is not a long term solution, this process was able to fill an immediate gap and allow people served to remain in their homes. While I will not pretend to fully understand how difficult providing 24/7 services during this workforce emergency is, I can recognize how difficult a call like this might be to make. I also understand that some of you may be concerned that making this notification will somehow hurt the agency you represent. What I can say is that Summit DD’s goal is to help people stay in their homes during the workforce emergency. If staying in their homes is not possible, and combining homes needs to occur we want to make that process as seamless as possible. So, when notifications are made, our only response will be support.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions and thank you for the continued dedication and commitment to people served in Summit County.
Director Community Supports and Development
89 E. Howe Rd. | Tallmadge, OH | 44278