Sunday, September 4, 2011

Which company should I choose to provide services?

How to chose a service provider agency.  What company do you want to chose to provide services for your child?  You may have never thought of this or thought that it wasn't important.  I will explain why it is important and that not all companies are the same.

Lets start off with some basics of how an agency works.   These services are federally mandated meaning the government is paying to have these services.  So they pay an agency which then pays the employees just like any business.  Now these rates are static, the can change year to year but typically stay the same.  These rates can be looked up on the Department of Developmental Disabilities website but then the company decides how much they want to pay their employees.  These employees only are required by the state to have I believe a high school diploma and must be over the age of 18.  Some companies start their employees out at a low flat rate and some at a higher flat rate.  The ones that pay a higher rate usually require more like more education or experience and the ones that pay a lower rate require less from their employees.  Having said just that which would you choose?

How does a company help you choose your provider?
A company is paid only if their service providers are providing services.  So it can sometime seem like the mentality or the thinking process of some of these companies is like the following.
  • Company needs money --> We have providers that need hours --> So have the providers call the parents
Doesn't seem like to flawed of a model does it?  Not until you realize how many people there are to choose from meshed with availability.  When those are factored in the number of valid applicants go down.  So a better company uses the following model.
  • A new family started with the company ---> Lets visit the family to get a feeling for their needs --> Now lets filter through our available providers who might fit what the parents want (personality, gender, availability etc.) --> After they narrow down the list to the the best fit candidates the company has them call you
This small extra step might seem trivial but it really does make a difference and helps the parents avoid the feeling "is there anyone out there that can help?".
Why does employee pay a factor to consider when choosing an agency?
One more item to consider when choosing an agency is how much they pay their providers.  This may not seem important but there is a relationship between how much they pay and their expectations.  The more they pay the more they expect, not just in performance but in other factors like education and experience which are not technically qualifiers for the position.
So the 2 things parents should ask when choosing which agency to allow to provide services for my child are
  • How do you help me choose a provider?
  • How much do you pay your providers?

If you have further questions please post them in the forum.  To enter the forum click here.

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