Imagine That...February 2022
In Loving Memory of Dean Wilson and Dana Hackett
The Imagine Endowment
We have an endowment to support Imagine's future. Beginning this year, Imagine will receive regular payments of the returns from these funds. Initially, we expect the impact to be small but as the endowment grows, it holds the promise of helping Imagine help others through hard times to come.

If you are considering a gift to the endowment, either right now or as part of a giving plan or bequest, we have information available here. And thank you.

To make direct contributions please make checks payable to; The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.  Designate the "Imagine Supported Living Services Fund". Mail to;   Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, 7807 Soquel Dr., Aptos, Ca.  95003.


-Submitted by Doug
The Service Sector
Hello Imagine Family, 

My optimism that 2022 would be a steadier road was quickly derailed when California started experiencing the COVID-19 Omicron wave in early January. Systems were again tested, and resources became thin and strained. In fear of sounding like a broken record we again saw staff, families and friends step up to pull us through the storm. Though we never want to reach these levels a silver lining is hopefully how much stronger we will be when things somewhat normalize knowing that our foundations are strong when we need them to be. 

Our time has been disproportionately focused of staffing coverage and management of exposures and safety precautions this month. However, we have identified a need to pull up our training standards in particular when an employee first starts. When an employee joins Imagine it can be a very challenging and stressful time if they feel underprepared, not supported or unclear of what the next steps are. This month and onwards we will be looking at the stages an employee goes through and how we can nurture their transition to becoming a competent, confident, trained employee that feels supported.

Stage one after the staff has been offered the role is on-boarding with human resources. We know how important HR can be for our staff and their ongoing needs, this stage is the foundation of their support network. From there they meet one on one with their facilitator. This is usually 1-2 hours of going through the details of the consumers program. Every consumer has a training tool called ‘Guidelines and Expectations’ that the facilitator goes through to ensure every detail has been addressed. After that there may be other trainings more specific to the individual consumer. This training also really starts the relationship between the facilitator and the staff member which is incredibly important for the success of our programs. Good communication between facilitators and their team members is essential both for initially feeling supported as well as ongoing support needed throughout their time with Imagine. At the end of this training the facilitator will set up a training schedule to shadow existing team members until the new staff feel comfortable enough to do shifts independently. Once this period is complete the facilitator will closely monitor and check in with the new staff to identify any gaps in training or to answer questions that the staff may have. 

These stages seem simple but without focus they can be missed or unprioritized causing confusion, instability, resentment, and ultimately new staff leaving the company. To be an employer of choice and provide our consumers with quality long lasting staff this is an area we can never take lightly. The new staff training period will have variations depending on the team and we fully welcome collaboration with our existing teams for input in make training as effective as possible. As always if any consumer, staff, or family member wants to discuss new hire trainings I would be happy to schedule a meeting.

For now, that’s all from me. Hang in there troops!

Happy February!

Charlie.

Charlie Miller
Director of Services 
Office: (831) 464-8355 ext. 103
Mobile: (831) 428-1731



HR Corner
Hello all, 

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. One important piece of information is that the Vaccine Mandate that requires employees to be boosted by 2/1/22 has been extended to 3/1/22. A lot of you have sent me your updated vaccine cards, for those of that haven't, please do so by 3/1/22 to avoid suspension of shifts. 

I would like to take a moment to appreciate everyone for complying so promptly with the booster mandate and making it so easy for us to update your record. 

We are extra appreciative of all of the staff out there who have gone the extra mile for their clients and have even worked with some teams while their client was in quarantine. 

It seems based on Santa Cruz County statistics, that we are moving past the peak of omicron. We are hopeful that Imagine cases will slow and that we will see some return to normal on Teams. 

In the meantime, please continue to use COVID precautions, wearing masks, and sanitizing often. We have gotten this far together, and we will continue to support each other through. 

Please feel free to call me or email me with concerns, if you need help finding a testing site, or vaccine appointment. 

On another note, Imagine is still experiencing a slowdown in applicants. If you know of anyone that would enjoy being a part of Imagine please do encourage them to apply. 

A quick reminder regarding our Referral Bonus Program:

Imagine is offering an elevated bonus for referrals. Imagine will pay $200 for part-time and $400 for full-time hires, respectively. Referral bonuses will be paid out after the employee has worked a full pay period. 
 
Instructions:

  1. When you have referred someone, make sure to contact me or your facilitator to let us know they will or have filled out an application.
  2. Let your referral know to list you as a reference in their application. 
  3. If your referral does not complete all of their scheduled shifts during their first pay period working at Imagine, we will not consider this a successful referral and you will not receive a bonus. Please keep reliability in mind when referring someone to us! 


Patty Lopez 
HR Manager 
Imagine Supported Living Services 
831-464-8355 ext. 112
Cell: (831) 325-7760




Self-Determination
Self-Determination is now available for any regional center client who chooses it but it seems to be a slow process enrolling. If I can be of any help, please feel free to contact me. I'm pleased that there are a few current and recent Imagine employees who are developing Independent Facilitation practices and I'll be glad to connect them with those looking.

This month, the Independent Facilitator Roundtable will be tomorrow, February 2 at 11AM. The Zoom link is right here. For people interested in Self-determination, there is also a monthly zoom event to introduce individuals and families to Independent Facilitators. It's the third Friday of each month and the time is supposed to rotate but we seem stuck on 2:30-4. Let me know if you're interested and I'll send the link and confirmation of the time.

-Submitted by Doug
Community Connections
February 2022       
 
We had a good turn out for the parents-only Zoom meeting in January. I had no idea that so many people had such long-term staff! And I’m left wondering what their secrets retention powers are, a topic for future discussion. And thank you Janine for walking us through the somewhat complex proposed pay raise schedule that we look forward to initiating in the coming months.
 
There has been interest in finding more opportunities for Imagine parents to connect in more informal ways. We will aim for an in-person gathering of parents on Saturday March 12th, variants willing. As always, let me know if you want to join the growing parent contact list. Stay safe!
 
Susan Douglass, Imagine parent, BOD member  
susancruzan50@gmail.com    831-818-2501


Transparency At Imagine
Our next board meeting will be held February 16, at 11:00. Write to Norma if you'd like to attend. Imagine's finances did not immediately rebound following the end of the riskiest part of the pandemic and we'll discussing why and how to repair the trouble.

We are still recruiting board members. We are working to diversify the board and to add a GAAP-trained treasurer. An attorney wouldn't be bad either.

-Submitted by Doug
Advocacy Corner
As it was last month, so it is now. There have been few new opportunities to advocate for Imagine Direct Care Staff to be included in some of the federal funding that came through the CARES Act, and we remain in a guessing game as to the increase in funding we can expect this coming summer. Actually, we have assurances that the rate increases will take effect April 1 and be ready in time. But let's say summer.

There is a survey being conducted by the state of service provider agencies meant to track direct care longevity and skills. The hope is that this data and similar future surveys will help encourage the state to invest in our very worthy direct care staff for future policy choices.

As always, thanks to Marty Omoto of CDCAN for amplifying the transparency and circularity of information between the community and policy-makers. If you would like to receive CDCAN's extensive reporting, write to Marty. If you're exhausted from sending all that money to Imagine but still have money sitting around accusing you, supporting CDCAN supports our community.

-Submitted by Doug
Meet Jake
Jake and Izzy, in front of Jakes home at Coastal Havens
This month in the Client Spotlight, we would like to welcome Jake Wilkins to the Imagine family! If you have not had the chance to meet Jake, then I am excited for you to. He is such an amazing person to be around. Jake has the most infectious smile and when he is happy he lets us know with a large smile and holler.

He recently moved to his first home in Santa Cruz at the CHF (Coastal Havens Families) neighborhood. Next to his home is a gorgeous farm with Chickens and sheep. Jake has an interesting hobby of collecting the most beautiful clocks with images of different animals on them. He hasn’t hung them all up yet but I’m sure he can’t wait to meet everyone and give you a tour of his new home and his extensive clock collection. Also, Jake had an exciting addition to his new home, and her name is Isabella. Jake likes to call her Izzy. Izzy is his new live in housemate that moved here to start this new journey with Jake all the way from Massachusetts. We look forward to the day that we can invite all to join us at CHF for many cookouts and fun at CHF’s Main Street Hub! Welcome Home, Jake!!!!

-Submitted by Jessica

Spotlight on Kennedy House Staff
This month’s staff highlight is to recognize the amazing support provided to our Kennedy House clients. The multiple teams and subs have provided compassionate and comprehensive support to all 4 women during some of the most challenging conditions over the past few months. While treading though these hard times and providing care in difficult treatment settings, our employees have proven to demonstrate utmost patience and vigilance that we couldn’t be more proud of. Their dedication to our clients is truly admirable and I am so appreciative of the cohesive teamwork I’ve seen. Thank you to all our direct care staff who have stepped in going above and beyond to lend a hand. Job well done everyone! I am so fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful group of caring individuals.

-Submitted by Cherice

Birthdays & Anniversaries
Staff and Client Birthdays:

Tiffany
Terry 
Tami 
Drew 
Leslie 
Rachel 
Tonya 
Rebecca 
Michael 
David 
John 
Kalen 
Melissa 
Josue 


Staff Anniversaries:

Agustin - 4 Years!
Frank - 3 Years!
Steve - 12 Years!
Tonya - 2 Years!
Adam - 2 Years!
Saray - 1 Year!
Carrie - 1 Year!
Cecilia - 2 Years!
January 2022 Calendar