People First, Inc. New Jersey prides itself in the variety, range and continuum of services that it provides with the utmost professionalism to its residents. Prior to admission into any of our programs/services we provide an in-depth overview of how persons in the program or service are served and supported which includes how individuals are admitted into, transferred, or discharged from the program or service; maintaining the health and safety of persons entrusted to our care, to provide guidance on protecting the confidentiality of persons served; the development and use of the Individual Habilitation/Support Plan (IHP/ISP); how to maintain records necessary for the program/service; specific services that are provided in the program or service; and other tasks that help support the well-being of the service recipients. Our programs and services include:
Support Coordination is one of the service models provided by People First, Inc. New Jersey. At People First, Inc. New Jersey supports coordination means identifying, advocating, developing, accessing and coordinating supports on behalf of participants needing services that assist them in gaining access to needed programs and State plan services, as well as needed medical, social, educational and other services. We believe that support coordination also involves assisting participants and/or their families access needed and necessary supports on their own. All we do is assist and coordinate those efforts for, and with them.
If you entrust the coordination of your supports to People First, Inc. New Jersey you will be dealing with highly skilled and licensed professionals who will work for, and with you and your family to identify not only the services that are needed and necessary for your full and complete integration into your community, but we will also bring to your attention the various provider agencies who can better offer those services, and where and how you will access those services. That way you should be able to make an informed choice.
A cross-section of our support coordinators are licensed teachers of students with disabilities who possess and routinely use excellent assessment and observation skills, good communication, organization and coordination skills, profound interviewing and facilitation skills, state of the art knowledge of generic and community resources, including problem solving and conflict resolution skills. Our support coordinators are very punctual, even at short notice. You will receive prompt and timely follow-up backed by solid teamwork and collaboration infused with deep knowledge and understanding of DDD system, policies and practices.
Our support coordinators use the person-centered approach which targets:
- Helping individuals/families build on their own capacities, strengths, and talents.
- Identifying what brings joy to individuals and their families, and find ways to incorporate these things in their lives.
- Observing and listening. Focusing on what is working and what is not. What do people want more of and what things they want to change?
- Helping people learn and practice how to stay healthy and safe. (Don’t just protect them).
- Helping people understand risk and making choices that are meaningful to them.
- Remaining optimistic during difficulties. Being creative, flexible, and having fun. Learning positive, growth-oriented lessons from mistakes.
- Helping people develop valued and personally meaningful social roles. Supporting and encouraging relationships. Help people contribute.
Planning Ahead for Overcoming Barriers
At People First, Inc. New Jersey we plan ahead, helping us to overcome barriers. Our practice generally results in:
- High quality person-centered planning session.
- Motivated and willing team members.
- An easily understandable summary of the person’s dreams, hopes, and overall vision of a good life.
- Specific goals and deliverable with actions steps, with clearly delineated and assigned responsibilities. A date of completion will also be included. (Action plan)
- A plan and date for coming back together and reviewing accomplishments, celebrating, and brainstorming next steps.
- A plan for supporting each other between meetings.
All in all, our support coordinators act as a resource, and primary contact for individuals and families to the service system.
Our Pledge to You
- Meet with and begin the person centered planning process with the individual and/or their families within 10 days of assignment.
- Complete the Person Centered Planning Tool prior to the development of the service plan
- Complete and approve the ISP within 30 days of assignment
- Distribute the approved ISP to all service providers and team members within 3 days of approval
- Monitor service provision every 30 days at a minimum
- Write and/or review the annual ISP for approval
Community housing: This program seeks to encourage the development of life skills that are necessary for a fulfilling and sustainable life in the community. The main tenets of the program revolve around:
- Residents’ responsibility, involvement and participation.
- Assisting residents in gaining, imbibing and practicing the life skills required for integration and development in a less restrictive environment.
The Residential Care Program: This program focuses on the development and improvement of skills necessary for successful community integration. The program thus has a rehabilitative focus.
- The program is geared towards empowering and encouraging the residents to use generic community supports when possible to meet physical, psychological and social needs. The benefits of this approach are it invariably leads to an improved quality of life and emotional well being. Residents live in the most normalized, least restrictive environment possible to promote individual growth and safety.
Group homes: With our group home program, individuals share a home with no more than three other residents and receive services from staff that is on-site 24-hours a day. Each individual has a dedicated room in the home with a common living area.
Supervised apartments: This program provides services to an individual living alone or with a roommate in an apartment that is leased or owned by People First Inc. New Jersey, which also employs staff that is available to serve the individual 24-hours a day.
Supportive Housing: This program/service model has an individual leasing his or her own apartment and receiving services on an as-needed basis either in person or through phone contact up to a total of 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Education and Training
People First Inc. New Jersey will provide education and training to parents and other community members to help them better understand and comprehend developmental disabilities or other similar conditions such as autism. We provide this information by presenting live media interviews, lectures and slideshows on the theme of developmental disabilities at schools, libraries and other public venues. These presentations focus on the causes, current efforts and solutions of developmental disabilities .They also highlight the geographical, economical, and social aspects of developmental disabilities.
People First Inc. New Jersey seeks out opportunities for community outreach through our ambassador program which involves sending ambassador(s) to fulfill our mission of raising awareness and funds, while educating the public on developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders by utilizing a variety of means such as sports, charity auction expeditions and clinics, charity motorcycle/bicycle rides, photography, and writing. Through these means, the issue of developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders will be highlighted and brought to the attention of diverse audiences. An example of this program is the Special Olympics a global sporting movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community. The ambassador program reports will be published on our website at: www.peoplefirstnj.org