Stephanie, how do you contribute to serving GoodLife’s population?Maybe I’m biased, but I think I have the BEST job at GoodLife! As the director of admissions, I’m the first person a family, individual or case manager talks with when they’re looking for services or independent living for seniors and those with disabilities. They may have just received a diagnosis or are in a crisis situation and aren’t sure what to do next as they start their care journey. We sit down and talk about what GoodLife has to offer, but more importantly, we spend time talking about the individual’s needs to see if our services are a match. I help connect them not only with GoodLife, but to the community as a whole because it can feel like an overwhelming process.
What does the admission process look like?
Once I feel an individual and GoodLife are a potential match, we’ll take a tour based on the services necessary, like residential living teams or intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) day services. Tours give me the time to see the whole person beyond their behaviors, health and diagnosis, and really understand if we have the expertise to serve their unique needs.
Next, we do an in-depth assessment with the individual to discover behaviors, strengths and challenges to get to know them beyond what we see on paper. This sets me up to know what support models are best for this resident and what staffing needs look like.
Then my team sits down and puts together a tailored plan for success for that individual and family. The whole process can take anywhere from a week in a crisis situation up to a month.
What do you mean by “tailored plan”?
At GoodLife, there are so many possibilities for how we serve an individual. There is not one or two cookie cutter programs to choose from. Our programs and services are tailored to the individual and comprise the foundational building blocks of our service model that promotes independent living. We work hard to determine if GoodLife is the place that can serve individuals and their families best, because their safety and wellbeing is our number one priority.
At GoodLife, there are so many possibilities for how we serve an individual. There is not one or two cookie cutter programs to choose from. Our programs and services are in response to what the community needs and we tailor to the individual. We work hard to determine if GoodLife is the place that can serve individuals and their families best, because their safety and wellbeing is our number one priority.
What might tailored independent living programs look like?
For one individual, that could be a semi-independent living apartment in our Neighborhood Network. For another, they may require shared living, a day services program at Midnight Farm or a work program like RISE.
It sounds like you take your time and exercise due diligence up front. Why?
This work is what truly makes GoodLife unique and why we are at the top of our game. From the first conversation with an individual, we are upfront about who we are and what we need to know so we can create successful outcomes and minimize transitions throughout their lifespan.
What is the best part of your job?
I get the honor of not only meeting and helping families and hearing their stories, but I’m fortunate to be able to work one-on-one with our directors. That’s a big part of my day. I learn what they need and how I can support them in serving our senior living and I/DD residents and set everyone up for a successful transition into GoodLife. I’ve been in multiple roles with GoodLife over 21 years–the director of admissions for seven–and this role feels like my sweet spot.
What are you looking forward to in 2020?
As a mom of two teens, I’m excited as we start looking at how we can serve young adults with I/DD, especially 18-21 year olds aging out of foster care. We are working to bridge the transitional gap into adult services so they can stay with their providers and have a stable living environment. I firmly believe in the power of continuum of the provider, and when GoodLife can step in and grow that program so it’s almost a seamless transition, it will solve a huge need not only in the Kansas foster care system, but across the nation.