Working at GoodLife is more than just a job. Each direct support professional (DSP) is uniquely drawn to GoodLife’s mission to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve. As an intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) services provider, our staff are our backbone. We love to pair DSP’s with the right residential home to champion their strengths, and we often promote from within. DSP Stacy Yates shares with us the most rewarding parts of her job, how GoodLife is special, and what excites her about her future with GoodLife.
Stacy, what led you to a role serving GoodLife’s population as a DSP?
This is my first role within the I/DD provider field. I have experience with children with special needs both as a teacher and an adoptive foster parent. I worked in a prison as a corrections officer and drove a school bus. I was ready for something different and long term, and that’s when I came across a job posting for a DSP at GoodLife. The role appealed to me because it was an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
It sounds like you have a heart for helping people, Stacy.
Yes, that’s why I enjoy GoodLife so much – I’m in a “helper” role, and that comes naturally to me. There are a lot of people that don’t understand the population we serve. Not only is it great to know how GoodLife’s next-generation care model exists to support individuals at home and in the community, it’s also incredibly rewarding to have an active role in it each day. Many of our residents are non-verbal. In the wrong setting, that can make them vulnerable. At GoodLife, we get to know residents like family, and learn what’s important to them and what their needs are at the most granular level.
In what other ways does GoodLife’s model for care and independence stand out to you?
We try to make the residential home setting as much like a family as possible. Depending on their level of need, residents live independently just like you and me, with DSPs present to provide support however it’s needed. That can look like taking them to community events, shopping, cooking meals together, and serving as a companion.
What stands out to me about this model of care is that it’s completely driven by the needs and preferences of the resident – which makes sense, but often isn’t implemented in the I/DD services world. GoodLife truly advocates for our residents to communicate their needs, unique personalities, and goals.
GoodLife is a connected community. How does that support your role as a DSP?
I’ve worked at three different homes since my first day. One thing I appreciate about GoodLife is that they want the home I work in to be as great of a fit for me as the residents. Sometimes that means working in a couple of different homes within our community until it … well, feels like home!
Secondly, can I just say that iLink is amazing? I have never seen a technology-leveraged service model implemented in such an effective way before. For example, yesterday I was working in one particular area of the home when iLink alerted me that a resident had fallen in another room. Since I wasn’t present when he fell, I didn’t know exactly what had happened. The care team reviewed the iLink footage and was able to tell me what occurred so that I could check the resident for injuries, make a decision about how to care for them, and prevent future falls. Knowing that I can push a button and have access to an entire support team gives me incredible peace of mind and allows me to provide the best possible care to our residents.
What’s next for you at GoodLife?I’m interested in the Professional Extended Family Model and sharing my home with an individual with I/DD. I adore the six residents I work with currently, but to be able to give someone the individualized care they need is of great importance to me. I served as a foster parent and eventually adopted my now adult children. I am again ready to dedicate this season of my life to
supporting others in my home. I’m so glad I found GoodLife and the opportunities it gives me to do so. To learn more and apply for a position at GoodLife, check out our Careers page and join us in making a meaningful difference.