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ive a new job

to clarify my new position, as several people have been asking me about it, i offer the following... originally sent in an email to a few friends, i paste here, for all to see:

Background on the new job:

Back in March 2000, I went to work for a company that provides services to people with developmental disabilities- such as mental retardation (now you know why I hate the word ‘retard’), schizophrenia, behavioral issues, psychological issues, physical limitations (such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy)… among other things. I worked in the client’s homes, essentially doing the work of a ‘mother’. I would cook, clean, assist with medication, transport, assist with dressing and hygiene, advocacy, things of that sort… the technical title for the position is ‘residential support staff’.

Anyway, I worked as RSS for a year and a half, while I was going to college. My goal at the time was to become an advocate, a social worker type person. We call that ‘case management’. For the longest time, I knew that I belonged working with people who were disabled, mostly because I grew up ‘disabled’. I know what it’s like in their shoes. I wear the same ones.

A couple of years ago, that goal to become a case manager came true. I spent 11 months doing it until the company I worked for closed down. As for case management, we handled budgets, master files, home visits, services coordination (for therapies, home services, job searching, ‘day hab’ which is like schooling/training), working with therapists, the department of health, lawsuits (Jackson vs. state of New Mexico – it was the lawsuit that closed the mental institutions in New Mexico), planning services for the coming 6-12 months, investigating abuse, things of the sort... After the company decided not to renew their contract with the state, we were all subsequently tossed out on our asses, with less than three weeks’ notice. I was too hurt by the industry to stay in it at the time, and decided I needed to try a different career path.

And now onto my new job… I’ll be working for a service provider (who offer residential housing similar to ‘group homes’ except they’re all integrated into the community and there can be no more than four clients per home). They also provide ‘day hab’, the training in order to succeed independently in life, or at least try to. They have job coordinators/job coaches. They have a nursing department… and many, many other things. Some of the clients we provide services to are either behaviorally or medically fragile. Anyone who falls into either or both of those categories has to have one on one staffing, as directed by the state, for health and safety issues – for both the client and others around him/her.

The one on one staff (regardless of what area ‘dayhab or residential’) will report directly to me. I’ll be in charge of all the paperwork supporting the special staffing, and making sure that the paperwork is correct and submitted to both the case manager and to the state in a timely manner. I will also be in charge of all the house supervisors. They report to me, and I take care of problems. I’ll be reporting to the residential program director (RPD) and he will take care of anything that I cannot resolve on my own. The breakdown (top to bottom) will be Marvin (the RPD, who I've worked with before), me (residential team coordinator), the house supervisors, the senior staff from each house, and then the support staff. I will also be doing home visits, and services audits to make sure the client is being provided services appropriately, and calling meetings to implement services, new and old.

Maybe this makes better sense now…


Great news, looking forward to seeing you again one day. Mum is here looking after me following my illness.

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