Sources of Information

  1. Ask your case manager about his or her knowledge of living options beyond your family member’s current residence.
  2. Contact others if your case manager lacks knowledge of programs in which you and your family member are most interested.
  3. Seek out individuals who are willing to listen to you explain the types of supports you and your family member desire before describing the services their agency offers.
  4. Talk with people at the “House Manager” level. Administrative staff are often distanced from what happens at individual homes.
  5. Given high turnover rates among direct service staff, find out how long a person has worked at a specific home prior to asking them to respond to your questions.
  6. Ask similar questions to several staff and compare their answers to check for reliability.
  7. Visit the homes in which you are interested with your family member and spend time there. Ask if it would be okay with residents if you came for a meal.
  8. If serious about a residence, visit it at several different times during the day both when it is busy and during more quiet times when it may be easier to talk with staff and residents.
  9. The best source of information about the quality of supports an agency offers is the people who receive them. Find out if current residents and their families are willing to speak to you and ask several of them about their personal experiences.
  10. Ask staff if they will visit and spend time with your family member with a disability so that they can get to know them. Observe the way they interact with your family member.

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