Here, you can find answers to some frequently asked questions about ACR Homes.
- How do I know ACR will provide the high quality services they promise?
- How does ACR make sure the staff support their philosophy?
- Can family members attend and observe staff training sessions? Monthly staff meetings?
- How does ACR work to improve quality?
- How does ACR maintain its houses and make repairs?
- Has ACR ever been cited for violations?
- Who can I talk to about their experiences with ACR?
- What does the live-in staff do? What are the standards for this person, and what rules do they have to follow as a live-in?
- How does ACR select staff?
- How are staff trained?
- Are there visiting hours?
- Who do I go to with questions/concerns?
1. How do I know ACR will provide the high quality services they promise?
ACR has many systems in place to help ensure that each of our homes meets the high standard of care people have come to expect of ACR. Every ACR employee receives over 70 hours of initial training as well as ongoing training and supervision. One staff typically works with two clients on a shift, and that staff is responsible for goal completion and medication administration. Each client’s goals, whether formal or informal, are checked by the Residential Supervisor to verify completion. Any failure to complete the necessary objectives and treatments is addressed and corrected promptly.
The Residential Supervisor is supervised by a Program Director who oversees the program and physical plant to ensure a consistent high quality of care among all of ACR’s homes. In addition, all Residential Supervisors and Program Directors call in on a monthly basis to ACR management to discuss both resident and staff issues.
The COO, Gene Leistico, supervises the Program Directors and holds scheduled and unscheduled training meetings for both house supervisors and Program Directors to ensure quality services. ACR is committed to quality, and we will not develop new homes beyond our capacity to maintain our high standard of care. The COO reports directly to the owner and Executive Director, Jim Nelson.
We value open communication. We strive to meet the needs of each individual we support, and to listen to the input of the team. Family members, guardians and case managers are welcome to drop in anytime their family member/client is home. Each ACR Home has a supervisor who team members can contact 24 hours a day. Team members are also given the name and number of the Program Director who oversees the house supervisor as well as ACR’s management and should feel welcome to call about any concerns that may arise.
The quality of our services are also measured through a “Satisfaction Survey” which we send out to team members on an annual basis to solicit feedback on our services. These have been extremely valuable in helping us improve the quality of our care.
In addition to the above methods to measure services, we have internal auditors who do thorough, in-home audits of our documentation to ensure compliance with our license agreements.
2. How does ACR make sure the staff support ACR’s philosophy of care?
ACR has high expectations for staff. We begin with a detailed application process that includes a background check and aptitude testing to ensure that the staff we hire can deliver the high standard of care for which ACR is known. ACR’s policy and philosophy, as well as extensive staff training and supervision all support the goal of helping staff provide the highest level of care for the people we support. Because of our high standards, we receive many favorable comments from the case managers, parents and guardians with whom we work. For example, a case manager from Dakota County stated that she likes to get her clients in ACR homes because our high quality care makes her job so much easier.
3. Can family members attend and observe staff training sessions? Monthly staff meetings?
All family members of new ACR clients are invited to attend our Policy and Core Values class. This is a mandatory class for all ACR staff. Family members find it helpful to know how our staff are trained, and what we expect of them.
Because we typically discuss all clients at a monthly household staff meeting, family members are not asked to attend. We may, however, request that a family member attend a portion of a meeting if we need information for staff training purposes.
4. How does ACR work to improve quality?
As mentioned earlier, we do a “Satisfaction Survey” to ask the people we support and/or their guardians how we are doing, and have made many changes to our program based upon feedback we have received. We also implement lessons learned at one home across all of our homes. For example, an unsafe indoor fire sprinkler-head was discovered at one home, and we had all of our homes inspected.
5. How does ACR maintain its houses and make repairs?
ACR has its own Property Manager and maintenance crew. All of these individuals have been through ACR’s screening and training process, and not only have the technical skills required, but they also interact in a positive way with the people we support. Any outside contractors are supervised by ACR employees.
It is important to us that our homes look nice. The owners of ACR, Jim and Dorothy Nelson, have said that they will not have any of the people we support living in a home that they would not live in themselves. When a house has maintenance or decorating requests that the supervisor of the home is unable to remedy, the requests are prioritized and dealt with as quickly as possible. Seeing a home is the best testimony to our commitment to maintaining our homes.
6. Has ACR ever been cited for licensing violations?
Over the years there have been some minor licensing violations, such as the wording of the Program Abuse Prevention Plan; a bar of soap on a countertop that more than one resident may have accessed; or having an outdated county Service Plan. Any violation is corrected immediately, and procedures to avoid a repetition are implemented across the company.
7. Who can I talk to about their experiences with ACR?
We have a number of parents who are willing to talk with people who are interested in ACR Homes. Call Deb Nygaard, Director of Program Development, at 651.294.4704 for a list of names and phone numbers.
8. What does the live-in staff do? What are the standards for this person, and what rules do they have to follow as a live-in?
Having LIVE-IN SUPERVISORY STAFF at each of our homes is an important component of ACR’s philosophy. The individuals we support often develop their strongest bonds with these live-in supervisors. Our homes are all built with a separate living space (typically a walkout level basement area) for the live-in staff and his or her family (if any). This enables the live-in supervisor to oversee the household in a very effective way.
The residential supervisor is responsible for making sure that all shifts are filled. ACR does not run our homes short staffed. If a shift is open, the supervisor may attempt to fill it with existing staff, or with ACR’s own emergency floats (people who are screened and trained by ACR.) If no one else is available, the residential supervisor will work the shift. This ensures that the people we support are not denied activities due to staffing problems. The residential supervisor is also responsible for making and taking residents to doctor’s appointments, keeping the house stocked with medical and household supplies (including groceries), staff training and oversight, and completing reports. They are also the primary contact for families, guardians and county representatives.
10. How are staff trained?
Once staff are hired, they complete a comprehensive training program that exceeds licensing requirements and provides extensive in-house training to ensure optimal care of the people we support.
11. Are there visiting hours?
Families and friends of the people we support are encouraged to visit whenever possible. We are also able to facilitate family gatherings by offering to transport our clients to their family and friends’ homes. It is not necessary to set up an appointment before visiting, but family members might want to give a call to make sure their loved one is home. We go out frequently!
12. Who do I go to with questions/concerns?
It is our goal as a company to be responsive to the needs and interests of the people we support as well as to their families, guardians and case managers. Families and case managers are always welcome to drop by our homes to visit whenever their loved ones/clients are home. We strive to be prompt and open to any suggestions, and we analyze any complaints to improve our system of care not just at that individual’s home, but also across the company. Each ACR Home has a supervisor available whom team members can contact 24 hours a day. Team members are also given the name and number of the Program Director who oversees the house supervisor as well as ACR management, and should feel welcome to call those people as well.
If you have further questions please feel free to contact us.