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Community Living Care Wants to Add to its Family of Caregivers

By Andrew Wilson

Community Living Care, Inc. (CLC) prides itself on being a family that cares for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but right now that family needs to get bigger.

“Currently, there is a staffing crisis for every healthcare service provider and CLC is no exception,” said Jason McIntosh, CLC’s chief administrative officer. “It’s been a train that we’ve seen coming for some time now, but the pandemic has made it so much worse.”

Like all organizations that provide care, CLC must have its front-line workers, called direct service professionals or DSPs, in direct contact with its clients on a daily or almost daily basis. While COVID-19 safety precautions are always practiced, there is no way to do the type of work the DSPs provide on a remote work basis. There must be personal interaction to keep clients safe, and such close contact has led some staff to rethink their employment status.

“We have amazing DSPs,” said McIntosh, who cited the fact that 42 percent of CLC’s workforce has been with the organization for 10 years or longer. “The hearts of our people are definitely dedicated to their work. We literally could not do this without them. However, right now we are desperate for more people.”

CLC has one of the best benefit packages in the industry, a result of founder Hayes E. Treasure’s belief that CLC staff is like a family that needs to be cared for with great benefits. McIntosh says that pay is competitive within the industry, but somewhat limited due to the Medicaid Waiver reimbursement.

“Specific rates of reimbursement are set by the state and the state only adjusts rates every three years or so,” he said. To compensate for this, CLC has gotten creative with recruitment strategies.

Even with the limitations due to government reimbursement, CLC is providing hiring bonuses to new hires of up to $2,500. Current employees can also earn $250 if they refer a friend who is hired. In addition, staff are encouraged to participate in CLC’s yard sign program geared toward recruiting new employees. If the new hire mentions seeing a specific sign, and its placement can be definitively tied to a specific staff member, that staff member will receive a $250 bonus.

“We’re trying to come up with all manner of benefits and incentives because we need people who have a heart for caring for others,” said McIntosh. “Our staff often wears multiple hats so that our clients can remain safe.”

Those multiple hats the DSPs wear may include everything from providing daily hygiene and care, teaching and maintaining skills, scheduling and running medical appointments, providing transportation, activities of many sorts, and even providing counseling when emotions are running high in the client and/or the family. Even with those multiple demands, CLC staff provide a standard of care that is best reflected in the survey comments from the families of clients.

  • “We love our workers. They go above and beyond to help us.”
  • “Can’t say enough good things about CLC and its staff!”
  • “CLC Personnel are very kind.”
  • “Our daughter absolutely adores school and staff.”
  • “CLC staff does a wonderful job with our son. She is always on time, comes up with great activities, and our son is always so happy to see her. We never want to lose her.”

CLC doesn’t want to lose “her” or any other staff either. That’s why they are hoping to attract more staff who have a heart for caring for people with developmental disabilities.

“Everyone is doing what they have to do to provide care for our clients,” said McIntosh. “We need more good people.”

If you are interested in exploring career opportunities with CLC, please visit CLC on the web at communitylivingcare.com, email CLC-Jobs@communitylivingcare.com, or call (724) 836-8747.

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