Saturday, May 19, 2012

HELP: Inspiration needed!

Florida is in the midst of making yet another round of major cuts in services for individuals with disabilities.  These cuts have been a downhill battle since 2008.

As a support coordinator (case manager), and a supervisor of my office, it is my job to ensure that these individuals are as independent as possible by linking them with the services to help them do so.  The job has never been about the money.  This field has historically paid low.  The support coordinators in my office have to love what they do, or it is clearly not worth it.  If the individuals that we work with are successful, we are successful.

We are now in the midst of budgeting the money we have been given for the upcoming fiscal year with more cuts and a new system on top of it.  I found myself saying the other day, "I used to be a support coordinator.  Now I walk around with a calculator."  Sadly, that is the way things are going lately.

I work with a great group of people but it is very difficult to inspire them to do the projects when there is no incentive. We are constantly taking away all of the things that help the people that we serve be successful, the entire reason we are all working in this field. Instead we are constantly being faced with parents and service providers yelling at us in frustration, completing endless spreadsheets and truly walking around with a calculator.  We started out as advocates and now we are paper pushers.  This is not what we signed up for!

It has been difficult for all of us in our office to not have a raise in the past 4 years, but on top of that there is little inspiration from the job as well.  The individuals that we serve are suffering.  The state has cut so much money that it seems as though in July, everyone will be sitting at home for the majority of the week.  We have been told they are now only required to provide Health and Safety.  That means mental health is out the window!

You and I have choices every day that we take for granted.  If we decide we want to go to the store or go visit a friend, we have the ability to get in the car and go.  If we need to "get away from it all", we can simply walk or drive away.  We chose who we live with and we choose our meals and our routine.  Many of these individuals do not have any of that. 

How would that make you feel?  How would you inspire someone in that situation?


  1. That is tough. I guess you just try to remember that while you may not be able to help them as much financially, you may still be their one source of moral support.

  2. I agree with Alex, you are in a position to help them positively.

  3. I agree with Alex too - what more can you do? I understand how you feel, I feel the same way about the cuts in education - it's getting worse for next year too ::sigh::

    On a happier note, I was stopping by to tell you to put on your fancy clothes and stop by my blog tonight at 8pm to walk The Red Carpet to pick up your award! :)

  4. This is so sad to read - people who are giving support to those who desperately need it, not being given the support and recognition that they deserve in turn.
    Best of luck and I wish I was wise enough to offer some kind of advise - but I send you my love instead
    Laura x

  5. As a parent who benefits from those like you who help my daughter, I hate to read things like this. I'm in PA and I know this stuff goes on here as well. I wish the lawmakers all had to walk the road of caregiver and learn the true value of your kind of services. You can't touch it. It isn't a money maker. You can't see it, unless you are observant enough to see the difference it makes in someone's life. It doesn't get nearly the respect and support it deserves. I'm sorry the clients are getting upset with you and not the ones cutting your funding.

  6. Thank you all for the support and encouragement. This has really been frustrating but your kind words remind me why I do it. I love it!

    Tamera, I admire you more than I can ever put into words. Your blog brings me inspiration that I need to keep going. It is for people like you and your family that I do what I do.

  7. My brother is in a similar situation, I only get to see him once every two weeks. I know it doesn't seem like a lot but when I'm there I try to get him to focus on positive things and forget about all the crap he is going through :)

  8. Sometimes we walk into a situation where all we are armed with is our hearts, and minds. Creativity is very helpful, and each person's situation is a bit different. You are probably in the best position to find alternatives. Get your people involved in ways to incorporate their own creative answers... help them, help you. I don't know what the stipulations are with the clients themselves, but you can find out from them what might help that you can do. Between the budget, and the building of a network of support, the help you provide is valuable beyond words.

    1. Yes you are right. My fear is that many of the service providers are losing so much money that people will be layed off, etc. It is difficult to find volunteers because of the liability and background screening process and expense. It will take time to iron everything out, but hopefully we can figure out other alternatives.

  9. When,I was teaching middle school in order to get the students to do the work, administration came up with the idea of incentives and I was oppose to it. I was opposed to it simply because once the children became use to receiving incentives it was very difficult to get them to move forward without them. They developed the attitude of " what will I get if I do it?"

    That attitude was on an outward incentive; in other words - what will I receive if I do good or do my best? Doing your best or bringing the best of what's inside of you forth shouldn't be based on something outside of you.

    There is nothing in life (to me) more purposeful than inner growth; bringing forth what's inside. Bringing forth what is inside is revelation to hearers; it's sharing who you are, your convictions, perceptions, etc. and the more you bring forth the more you grow.

    I encouraged and motivated my students to bring forth themselves and to share who they are, their perceptions, etc., with everyone else in the class; to use their gifts and talents to inspire and motivate their fellow classmates! That was the incentive! For each student to witness themselves in action and to witness how their gifts and talents influenced those around them!

    Money doesn't have anything to do with what I've just expressed. It's just raw talent and inner ability to achieve! Where there is will there is a way!

    I liked what, November Rain stated! Let the creativity come from your clients; get them involved!

    Resources are all around! Parents can be a resource in bringing in materials and showing interest in their child.

    Frustration over the situation only means that the sight to see what's needed isn't there. That old saying "ask and you shall receive" is good advise! You never know who is willing to help until you ask!

  10. Thank you all for your encouraging comments. I am starting the week renewed and ready to press on!