Today we learned that the DMH has increased our funding for Personal Care Hours. This is great news as it will allow us to increase the number of hours covered at Colin’s Castle. It is bad news in that the people who work for us will not get the greatest hourly wage. We need to be allocated the equivalent dollars so that we can self direct and self manage the funds. With self direction we would be able to pay our employees a better wage. The reasoning is simple: if you pay more you are more likely to get people who are loyal; you can attract better educated people. Many times in the news you hear of group home workers or mental health workers who abuse and neglect their developmentally delayed clients, and if you look into who these people are, they most likely are people making minimum wage or transient workers. We don’t want that for Colin. We want people who will take care of him and love him and respect him, and stay with us for a long time, It is really difficult to find people like that for minimum wage.
We are thrilled to learn of the increase in funding, and now are scrambling to come up with a plan. We will start to house Colin at Colin’s Castle several nights a week as well as every weekday. We will need to find another employee to cover some of the hours. And we will continue to work on obtaining more control over how the money is spent. For now though, it is a major step ahead towards the eventual plan for Colin and Colin’s Castle.