Imagine That...September 2021
In Loving Memory of Dana Hackett
The Imagine Endowment
We have started an endowment to support Imagine's future. Beginning next 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
Greetings Imagine Family!

           August was another busy month for everyone here at Imagine and I’m incredibly grateful to the dedicated staff and families who are really putting in the extra time during Santa Cruz’s staffing crisis. I am conscious of potential burnout from staff, facilitators and family members during this time and have been working closely with Doug, Human Resources and our Staffing Coordinator to ensure we are doing everything we can to bring in new faces to support our teams that are currently short. There may be another few months of staffing challenges ahead but I’m optimistic with good communication, collaboration and the on-going goal of supporting the consumers we serve that we will successfully make it to the other side.

           It can be challenging during these times to also put our attention on improvements in our systems, but fortunately we have been able to focus on a few areas this month. Firstly, the facilitator team collaborated on a more concise and user-friendly emergency plan form that can replace the existing one found at each house. If you work at one of our consumer’s home’s you will start to find these in the house binders. I invite anyone to offer feedback on these as the goal is to make them efficient tools if/when emergencies arise. We also noticed a few houses had some expired items in there emergency kits which we replenished. Frequent items to watch out for are ointments, emergency food, emergency water and alcohol wipes. Each will say there expiration date on the packaging. 

           During our facilitator meeting we discussed how we currently complete ISP and quarterly reports for our consumers. For a while now we have received a lot of feedback that the quarterly reports are repeating a lot of the information in the Annual which can hinder the reader in identifying what the main updates are for that quarter. We are going to be working with each team to improve the layout and format of the quarterly report, so they are as clear and user friendly as they can be in showing what the main changes that have occurred within that 3-month period. We do have a lot of teams that collaborate with parents and conservators when completing reports and I want to make sure we involve them in these changes. If any parent/conservator would like to meet to discuss this and or would like to know more of what the intended functions are of the ISP and the quarterly report, I’d be happy to schedule time. 

This month our new facilitators Daniela and Stephanie completed their management training and will now be moving into actively completing their roles. I’m grateful at this time when our teams need us the most that we have a full management team to be able to provide the support where it is needed to get us to the next stage of this challenging period. 
Thanks everybody!

HR Corner
Hello all, 

I would like to start out by saying that the Imagine Leadership Team consistently works to improve on communication with Direct Care Teams. We regularly discuss how to be more transparent, more consistent, and more supportive of the teams that do the most important work in our agency. 

If you do receive a Disciplinary Notice, most of the time this does not mean we are getting ready to terminate employment. Most often it is an attempt to bring a policy to your attention or a performance issue that has been affecting your team and client. Please do always take it seriously, however, as much as it is possible for you, try not to take these notices personally.  Our Supervisors do not like giving these Notices out.

The issue that leads to a Disciplinary Notice is thoroughly discussed with me and either Charlie or Doug to ensure it is necessary and fair to present an employee. In other words, we would not allow your supervisor to write someone up because they dont like them or for any discriminatory reason such as race or gender. 

What should you do if you receive a Disciplinary Notice that you disagree with? Let us know you disagree. We are always ready to hear the reasons that you disagree with your Notice. If you feel certain that you have always followed a policy appropriately, we will take this into consideration and document this as a part of your notice. Some of the time, we will reconsider the notice. If we do not reconsider the notice, it is likely because we have investigated the issue or witnessed the issue first hand. 

The most important thing to rememer is that a Disciplinary Notice is meant as a training tool to help you focus your attention to the issue at hand. We believe that transparency is kind and helpful to your growth as an employee. We mean our disciplinary process to help you remove barriers to your success.

Of course if you ever need support after a Disciplinary Notice you can definitely come to me, to Charlie, to Doug or . 

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about this topic. 

In good health, 

Patty Lopez 
HR Manager 

Self-Determination is now available for any regional center client who chooses it. That's a wonderful change to what has been, until now, a very challenging but rewarding way of helping a select few. Whoever wants it was always the ideal constituency for this program. Although Imagine does not provide Independent Facilitation services, several of our employees have started side businesses facilitating person-centered plans and support for people in self-determination. If you would like to know more about self-determination, or want help finding an Independent Facilitator, please don't hesitate to contact me. Also, if you are a service provider interested in or worried about serving people through self-determination, I urge you to speak with me.

Also, see above. Parents Helping Parents is hosting a conference in Spanish around self-determination.

This month, the Independent Facilitator Roundtable will be this coming this very morning, September 1 at 11AM. The Zoom link is right here. I'm pretty sure. If it doesn't work, email me in a hurry.

-Submitted by Doug
Community Connections
Many thanks to Charlie for meeting with a few parents in August. It was a relaxed opportunity to share ideas and get to know one another a bit better. Charlie is very approachable, responsive, and thoughtful and welcomes an open flow of communication. 

Protected Tomorrows provides support for planning for the future of a loved one with special needs. I’m planning on participating in talks on several topics over the next few months and if there is interest I would be happy to host follow up Zoom conversations. 
Check it out the schedule at  
I will attend these in September:

9/3/21        5-6pm       Keeping the Dream Team Alive
9/30/21      5-6:30pm  Trusts vs. ABLE

I am compiling a family contact list. If you would like to be added, send me your contact info.
Look for a date to be announced once we are on the other side of the current COVID surge. Stay safe!

Susan Douglass, Imagine parent, BOD member     831-818-2501

Transparency At Imagine
Our next board meeting will be held October 20, at 11:00. Write to me 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
Since our July newsletter, the state budget has been passed, signed and enacted. But we still don't know a bunch about how it will be implemented. We do know that the increase in the state minimum wage is to be supported, that there should be a rate increase in April although not how much, and that California is looking to replicate the Family Home Agency beyond the Developmental Services system.

We believe there will be one-time bonuses for direct-care staff and at some point additional raises to staff who can be certified as bilingual or who complete certain coursework. As to when anything in this paragraph will take place, how it will take place, how people are certified as bilingual, etc, we have not yet been told. Keep an eye on this space or, if you know somebody at DDS and there's a punch bowl, do what you can to get them talking.

As ever, Imagine's advocacy gets split between management's work with the California Disability Community Action Network (CDCAN) and whatever you all choose to do. Consider a conversation with a legislator. If you would like to receive CDCAN updates, write to Marty Omoto, which you can do by clicking here.

-Submitted by Doug
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Staff Birthdays

David R.
Tanya W.

Staff Anniversaries

Emily A. - 1 Year!
Miranda - 6 Years!
Stephany D. - 1 Year!
Sharon - 3 Years!
Vanessa M.- 2 Years!
Elizabeth - 5 Years!
Juan - 1 Year!
Leslie - 2 Years!
Stephanie S. - 5 Years!
James T. - 16 Years!
Daniela - 1 Year!