Author Archive

The Human Service Workforce Crisis in Massachusetts

author:

Hello, my name is Cheryl Dolan and I work in human services.

I moved from the UK in 1999, when many humans service agencies could not find staff and went overseas to hire them. We still have this problem today. We need to look at why this is and what we can do to change it.

Why is there a shortage in staff?

  • More people need support and services than before so need more staff
  • Wages are low and not too many ways to get promoted
  • Lack of people who are trained to do the job well

How does this affect people?

  • People have high turnover or unqualified staff working with them
  • People not getting the best care
  • Programs have to close, People  are losing services or are on wait lists
  • Families become stretched and have no help

What are human service agencies doing to address the issue?

  • Looking at how technology can be used to support people and reduce some staffing needs
  • Working with local and federal government to support them by applying initiatives for state employees to human service agencies
  • Looking at how to attract, train, and retain skilled employees.

How can you help fix this?

  • Make your voice heard! Make the people you vote for know you want to see increase in funding for wages
  • Support agencies seeking increased funding to provide higher wages for staff
  • Join advocacy movements like The Caring Force     

"The Caring Force logo"

Additional materials

Who Will Care? The Workforce Crisis

The Caring Force

Boston Herald: Opinion  Workforce Crisis Threatens Community

Chicago Tribune:  Article– Care Worker  Shortage

Guardianship and Alternatives for Young Adults with Disabilities

author:

  • When people turn 18, they are legally adults.
  • They make their own medical, legal, and financial decisions.
  • This can be scary for families and young adults.
  • Parents want to stay involved with decision-making and meetings.
  • Guardianship is one way to address this.

Family discussion

 

Guardianship

  • A court decides if a person needs a guardian.
  • A Guardian will  make decisions for them
  • Guardians are a good idea for people who may never be able to make their own decisions.
  • Guardians should get training to learn their role.

Alternatives to Guardianship

 Power of Attorney:

  • A person can choose to have one and what areas they want them to help with.
  • A person can remove them when they are ready.
  • This is a good choice for people who need help now but will be able to make their own decisions one day.

Money Supports

  • Conservators, rep payees, and joint bank accounts can help manage money.

Health Care Proxy

  • The person chooses who will make medical decisions for them if they are unable to make them.

Supported Decision Making

How to Decide What Supports are Needed

Recommended reading:

 

Reversing a Guardianship Agreement

The Arc- Guardianship and Alternatives