Avenues to Community, Inc.

Kevin Keisling, Director
2802 Coho St. Ste. 201, Madison WI 53713-4521
Mission Statement:
The mission of Avenues to Community is to support adults with developmental disabilities in realizing their dreams and desires and in pursuing opportunities for full, satisfying lives in their communities. We support people as they learn and exercise their right to make choices for themselves. We seek to promote positive self esteem, full citizenship and community involvement through encouraging the development of naturally forming relationships. Our mission is founded in the belief that as people grow and change, ongoing assessment of support systems and the persons’ satisfaction is crucial. Further, our mission encompasses providing other agencies and involved individuals with information and problem solving support that allow them to respond to people’s changing needs and preferences.
Services Provided:
Avenues provides person-centered support broker/service coordination to adults residing in Dane County in a variety of situations including supported living arrangements, family’s homes and adult family homes. Services include developing, monitoring and implementing an individual support plan along with problem solving, crisis intervention and supportive counseling if needed.
Areas of Expertise:
Avenues Brokers work with people who live in a variety of residential settings and work with various amounts of vocational support throughout Dane County. Our service coordination focuses on individual choice, relationships and community involvement. We value family participation, natural relationships and circles of support. Particular Support Brokers have experience around issues of sexuality, person-centered future planning, community building and person-centered advocacy.
Involving the Client and Guardian in Developing Supports and Services:
Support Brokers conduct annual planning meetings with the person, their family and guardian to discuss the person’s preferences and service needs. We are also responsible for developing a plan that outlines those wishes. Additional meetings for continued dialogue are encouraged and occur as needed or desired by the person, their guardian or the circle of support. Support Brokers have ongoing visits with the person in his/her home and community to discuss his/her satisfaction and changing desires on a regular basis as determined by the person. Also, we have regular in-person, phone and written contact with the guardian for follow up.
Creating Community Involvement:
Avenues includes the person’s dreams for relationships, community, hobbies, etc. as central points in the planning process along with specific ways the support team can help the person reach those dreams. Support Brokers provide information about community activities and resources on a regular basis to the person, their guardian and others living with the person. Support Brokers socialize with the person in familiar community settings as well as introduce the person to new environments.
Ensuring Safety:
Avenues focuses on supports that are built around the person’s unique needs with ongoing dialogue with the person about his/her life. Support Brokers are involved in creating circles of support made up of people who know the person well, who communicate with and support the person and each other. We encourage people to have life experiences where they can safely learn and grow. Avenues provides access to information and education about self protection and advocacy in a peer setting. All employees are required to successfully complete criminal background checks.
Evaluating and Improving the Quality of Services:
The quality of our work is evaluated through dialogue with the person and his/her guardian on a regular basis. Changes are made to support plans/approaches as needed. Periodic consumer satisfaction surveys are also conducted. We seek feedback from consumers and guardians about the services they want in conjunction with agency planning.
Training and Evaluating Staff:
All new Support Brokers have an orientation to agency philosophy, policy, and procedures with a supervisor. Additionally, all Support Brokers complete Dane County Human Service and State of Wisconsin training, as well as any ongoing training required by Dane County. Additional professional development through conference and workshop attendance is encouraged and supported. One-on-one formal consultations with a supervisor occur on a regular basis and staff consult with each other in a team format regularly as well. Annual performance evaluations and subsequent follow-up meetings are held. Support Brokers develop plans for continuing education as needed to maintain quality practice standards.
References:
Available upon request.

Catholic Charities, Inc. – Support Brokers

Theresa Wonders-Tamez, Support Broker Manager
702 S. High Point Rd., P.O. Box 46550, Madison WI 53744-6550
Mission Statement:
The mission of Catholic Charities is to provide community services that address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals and families. Catholic Charities provides responsive community leadership in order to build better and more humane communities.
Philosophy:
The philosophy of Catholic Charities is to provide services that assist in developing the self-sufficiency of individuals and families, and to protect, preserve, and promote dignity of all persons. Catholic Charities provides services to all persons regardless of religious affiliation.
History:
Catholic Charities has been in existence since and serves the 11 counties of the Diocese of Madison, which include: Rock, Dane, Sauk, Green, Green Lake, Grant, Iowa, Marquette, Jefferson, Columbia, and Lafayette. Catholic Charities has been accredited since by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Children and Families (COA). This national accreditation is one of the highest standards of quality in the United States. Currently fewer than 20 agencies in Wisconsin have achieved this accreditation. In addition to a strong presence and long history of leadership in the community, Catholic Charities also has demonstrated a record of administrative excellence and is recognized for providing cost-effective programs where outcomes are an important measure of quality.
Involving the Client and Guardian in Developing Supports and Services:
Through a contract with Dane County, Catholic Charities has developed a support broker program for persons with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injury. Our program is consumer-directed and focuses on the individual’s needs and preferences. Our support brokers work with the individual, their families and/or guardians and offer coordination of support and services, and assist each individual in making desired changes in services whenever needed. A person-centered approach is used in service planning so the plan is consumer directed. The support plan focuses on choice, preferences, abilities, strengths and needs, and whenever possible assists in the person becoming more independent. Planning meetings occur regularly with the person, their family and/or guardian, and other team members, with special emphasis on making the meetings meaningful, positive and productive.
Creating Community Involvement:
Self-determination is a critical component of this program, therefore close working relationships with families and guardians are of the utmost importance. Our belief is that the participants of this program and their families have both the ability and the right to make the decisions that influence their lives. Our brokers strive to form a relationship with each family and/or guardian and encourage input and assistance in designing each person’s individualized plan. A partnership is established with other affiliated agencies such as state CIP staff, residential providers and vocational programs. Frequent contact with these agencies will occur on an ongoing basis to ensure team cohesiveness, which leads to a high quality of support for the individual. Our support brokers have skills, qualifications, and personal characteristics relating to the broker position. Some of the skills and qualifications include higher education, developmental disabilities work experience, a personal commitment to a philosophy of consumer self-direction, and the ability to actualize this type of support philosophy.
References:
Available upon request.

Progressive Community Services, Inc. (PCS)

Alexa Butzbaugh, Executive Director
607 Green Meadow Dr., Verona WI 53593
Mission Statement:
Progressive Community Services, Inc. advocates for adults with developmental and other disabilities to lead a self-directed life. We believe people with disabilities deserve the opportunity to direct their own supports when possible, while maintaining or improving their quality of life in their home and in their community. PSU works with people with disabilities, their guardians and circle of supports to assure the person’s home and community life are led as inclusively as possible.
Services Provided:
PCS employs Support Brokers who advocate and provide case management services for adults with developmental and other disabilities funded through Dane County Department of Human Services (DCDHS), as well as, a Transition Coordinator position which provides services for students with disabilities graduating high school and entering the adult system.
Areas of Expertise:
PCS is dedicated to developing individual and flexible plans of supports with the person with a disability and his/her support team. Support Brokers and the Transition Coordinator have flexible schedules which allows for an opportunity to meet people when it is most convenient for the person with a disability and his/her family.
Involving the Client and Guardian in Developing Supports and Services:
PCS’ philosophy is that the person and/or his/her guardian Self-Direct his/her own services. The first step in this process is to hire a Support Broker as an independent advocate and resource. Once the Support Broker is hired, a Person Centered Plan is developed with the person and the person’s support team. A variety of templates can be used to cover all aspects of a client’s life. We consider the person and the guardian as the director of the support team who has the final approval of the plan of support.
Creating Community Involvement:
Consistent with our mission statement, PCS works with people with disabilities, their guardians and circle of supports to assure the person’s home and community life are led as inclusively as possible. PCS works with a person’s team to develop a circle of support while also discussing other available community resources.
Ensuring Safety:
PCS conducts background checks to assure no employees have been charged with a criminal charge that would put a person with a disability at risk. PCS has an Abuse and Neglect Policy that is consistent with the Dane County Department of Human Services’ Abuse and Neglect Policy. All PCS employees are mandatory reporters which requires them to report a potential abuse and neglect situation immediately to DCDHS. Regular meetings with the person and his/her team along with informal visits in a variety of settings assure support needs are adequate along with the knowledge that general safety guidelines are being followed. Safety plans are established on each team which covers emergency situations the person may encounter.
Evaluating and Improving the Quality of Services:
PCS uses both formal and informal means to improve the quality of our supports. Annually we conduct a Quality Assurance Survey with feedback for each employee from the person with a disability, the guardian, other provider agencies and any other interested party. Informally, ongoing communication with the person, guardian and the support team generally allows people an opportunity to give feedback and suggestions. It is our goal that all people supported directly or indirectly by the PCS are satisfied with our services.
Training and Evaluating Staff:
PCS employees complete all required DCDHS and State of Wisconsin trainings. A variety of additional trainings are offered within the county and state throughout the year when available. Annual staff evaluations occur formally while informal evaluations are done as needed throughout the year.

Teamwork Associates, Inc. Support Brokers

Wendy Hecht, Executive Director
822 Gannon Ave., Madison WI 53714
What do you believe in?
Teamwork Associates, Inc. believes that every resident of Dane County has the right to live a life full of meaning and purpose. Our community has the capacity to welcome every member and every person has contributions that would benefit the community. We facilitate and coordinate the development of personal goals and action plans defined by the individuals with disabilities that we serve. We offer skilled listening, extensive resource knowledge, and the spirit of collaboration to provide the most effective and positive services to a person and their team so that the person lives the life they choose with the supports they need.
What do your brokers do?
First and foremost, we get to know the person that hires us very well. We visit the person often and learn as much as we can about that person’s life and the goals they have. Teamwork brokers use person-centered planning tools yearly with the individual and their team to discuss and outline what is going well and what needs improvement. The plan is reviewed regularly and is written or documented in a pictorial format. Brokers help the person and those that care about them to assess the quality of support they receive and how their goals are being met. They help make action plans for improvement as needed and work to get issues of concern resolved. In addition, each Broker will ask the person that hires them what other things you’d like them to do, and this will be added to the agreement.
How Do I Know Teamwork Brokers are Qualified to Do Their Job?
Teamwork Brokers are required to have: a Bachelor’s Degree in a Human Service Field; at least 2 years of direct experience with persons with disabilities; knowledge of local resources; enthusiasm, curiosity, creativity, flexibility, a positive problem-solving attitude, proven ability to work independently and meet deadlines; interest and experience working in a team environment; and the ability to facilitate team and planning meetings. We value training and all staff attend required and optional trainings to stay current on information that will help us improve our skills.
How Do You Assess the Quality of Your Services?
We hold a yearly focus group with a group of people that have hired us where we assess what we are doing well at and what we need to improve. From this information, we set an action plan for improvement. Teamwork Brokers meet weekly for an internal team meeting and each Broker meets monthly with the director and makes a written work plan that includes the things they have promised the people that have hired them. We value all feedback from those that hire us and their teams and do yearly employment evaluations on each staff. We have a back-up Broker assigned for each person to cover for our time-off and a centralized record-keeping system so that we can do so effectively and efficiently. Teamwork intends to stay a small agency as we believe this has a positive impact on our quality.
Do You Provide References?
We are happy to provide references upon request.

Support Broker Consultants, Inc. (SBC)

Dan R. Rossiter, Executive Director
Kathy Zanella-Albright, Program Manager
1810 South Park Street, Suite 3, Madison WI 53713
Mission Statement:
The mission of the Friends & Family Option is to: Provide individuals with disabilities and their allies, an advocate/guide/coordinator (known as a Support Broker) of their choice from within their friends and family circles; Provide an opportunity for people to direct their own supports while maintaining or improving their quality of life in their homes and their community; Assure that all employees and Support Brokers of SBC follow the dimensions of self-determination when assisting individuals in accessing a full range of appropriate services and support; Help individuals to realize a sense of belonging and contribution, of being respected, of having choice, and a true sense of inclusion; and, Create reference material on the range of tools used to support and ensure that people have control in their lives.
Background:

A key part of the Dane County Self-Directed Support (SDS) system is the assistance of the Support Broker. The role of the Support Broker is to develop a close relationship with the individual while learning his or her needs, goals, and aspirations. This will enable the Support Broker to assist those they support to access services and supports that will lead towards a rich and full life. For their efforts, Support Brokers are compensated with a monthly stipend.

Typically, a person selects a Support Broker who is a professional human services worker, is employed by one of the agencies listed here and supports a large number of individuals. The selection process is dependent on which of the Support Brokers have openings on their caseload and their time availability. Then they spend a great deal of time getting to know the individual, getting to know the family, finding find out what the person’s interest are, discovering their talents, fears, vulnerabilities, hopes, and dreams.

The Friends & Family Option offers an alternative. We want to recruit someone who knows and has known the person for an extended period of time in a variety of different settings, such as a family member or close friend, a sibling, neighbor, school teacher, or church member. Someone who knows the person, knows his or her likes and dislikes, with whom the family or guardian is comfortable, and who is willing to spend time each and every month assuring that things are going well for the person and if not, working to fix it.

While a family member or a friend may not initially know what services and supports are available, how to get access to them, how to navigate through the system or how to do the paperwork that usually comes with government funded programs, not to worry; help is available.

SBC has two professional staff, with over 50 years of experience who are available to assist in all aspects of Support Brokering. Through hands-on, individual trainings and consultations, regular meetings with other Friends & Family Option Support Brokers and regular communication, Support Brokers will be provided the necessary support they need to complete their commitment.

What Friends & Family Options Support Brokers can do is bring to the table a deep knowledge base, a deep commitment beyond employment, with a love and respect only they can provide.

United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Dane County Support Broker Services

Matt Jahnke, CAPSW
2801 Coho St. Suite 300, Madison WI 53713
Mission Statement:
Understanding Disabilities : Creating Opportunities : Promoting Community
Support Broker Services
are a component of our agency’s Adult Program, staffed by six Support Brokers, two Planning Coordinators, and a Community Builder. Support Brokers are chosen by the individual through an interview process. They are guided by the aspirations and needs of the individuals who request their support. High priority is given to helping people establish personal networks of support. Assistance is offered in planning for and developing supports in a manner that is most comfortable for the person. Assistance is also provided in advocating for funding and assuring that all necessary payments to providers of service are made. Support Brokers participate in negotiations with providers and assist individuals in clarifying expectations when necessary. If an individual has an interest in alternatives to traditional services, Support Brokers will actively assist in carefully exploring other options.
Areas of Expertise:
All UCP Support Brokers have at some time had experience providing direct support to individuals with developmental disabilities as well as a minimum of two years of case management experience. This background is beneficial in understanding what it takes to arrange and maintain quality self-directed services. Our community builder offers independent living skills classes in a number of areas including cooking, home maintenance, first aid and safety, and social skills. Our ongoing internship partnerships with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison College, Viterbo University, and UW-Whitewater enable us to offer expanded support and benefits for those whom we support. Our exciting partnership with the UW School of Engineering helps us find unique solutions to eliminate physical barriers and support community inclusion. Our broader agency offers Birth to Three early intervention services, inclusive childcare supports, after school and summer programs for teens with special needs, respite care for families of children and adults with disabilities, and short-term case management for people in crisis. In addition, people supported by UCP have access to the Elsie S. Bellows Charitable Fund. The annual income generated from this fund can be utilized to purchase assistive technology equipment for individuals with disabilities who cannot find funding through other means.
History:
Since its inception in , United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Dane County has operated under the spirit of our mission of “Understanding Disabilities, Creating Opportunities, Promoting Community.” In a desire to envision a better future for their children, a small group of parents established UCP to offer alternatives to institutional care and segregated school services. While the initial focus was on caring for children with cerebral palsy, other families’ voices were heard and the agency quickly expanded services. Through advocacy and model programs, we have grown to embrace support for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities. Today, you probably know someone who has been helped by United Cerebral Palsy because we support individuals from birth through adulthood. Beyond cerebral palsy, we also serve those with autism, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, epilepsy and developmental delays in speech, mobility and development. The range of services the agency provides offers overlap of expertise and strengths in the individual programs.
Involving the Person and their Guardian in Developing Supports and Services:
All services provided by UCP’s Adult Program are directed by the person and/or their guardian.
Creating Community Involvement:
Support Brokers are committed to assisting individuals develop their own unique connection to the community. Fostering connections is one of the highest priorities of the Adult Program. People who choose a Support Broker at UCP also have access to a Community Builder who is funded through our Assessment and Planning Program. The Community Builder works with people both individually and in groups to develop independent living, social, and work-related skills. Our Community Builder also facilitates classes to help people throughout Dane County develop these skills. If someone has more individualized needs, our Community Builder can work one-on-one with that person to develop skills in their homes. The Community Builder further devotes dedicated time to expanding social opportunities for people through planning events and activities, organizing support groups, connecting individuals to one another, and helping people explore special interests.
Ensuring Safety:
One of the most effective ways Support Brokers can promote a person’s safety is to get to know the person well and form relationships of mutual trust and respect. Connecting to a person in this way fosters an awareness of things that might threaten health or safety. Support Brokers also strive to become well acquainted with all service providers working with the person. They assist the person in monitoring expectations and standards for service.
Evaluating and Improving the Quality of Services:
All staff members are evaluated on an annual basis. We utilize semi-annual surveys sent out to families and service providers to get a candid picture of each staff person’s performance. Goals set after the semi-annual surveys are reviewed on an annual basis. Staff members frequently attend training on various subjects related to their work and issues affecting the lives of people with disabilities. Our minimum expectation is 20 hours of continuing education each year. Outside consultants are called upon to assist with program development and evaluation. The people we support, their guardians, supporting agencies, and County personnel are encouraged to give ongoing input and feedback.