Article by Suzanne Horstman, HCO Executive Director
Since 1975, Home and Community Options has helped people with disabilities of all ages live, work, and enjoy life alongside their friends and neighbors in the community. We are committed to coming in to work each day to care for the people we support: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our focus at Home and Community Options continues to be the health, safety, and well-being of those we serve.
Unfortunately, MN is bracing for significant changes in services for individuals with Developmental Disabilities. More and more providers like HCO no longer have the resources they need to care for those in our community who are most vulnerable. Some key findings from ANCOR’s 2021 State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis survey include that:
- 77% of providers are turning away new referrals, a 16.7% increase since the beginning of the pandemic.
- 58% of providers are discontinuing programs and services, a 70.6% increase since the beginning of the pandemic.
- 81% of providers are struggling to achieve quality standards, a 17.4% increase since the beginning of the pandemic.
- Nearly 3 in 10 providers report spending at least $500,000 annually on costs associated with high turnover and vacancy rates.
- 92% of providers report that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to complicate their ability to recruit and retainqualified direct support professionals.
So where does this leave those served by agencies like HCO and the direct support workforce that has put their heart and soul into providing care?….