Location and Contact Information
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After you are determined to be eligible for the services and supports that you identified you need and prefer, a provider must be selected. It is important that you visit with different providers in order to gather information that will help you make a selection. The number of providers you choose to contact is your decision, but in most cases it is helpful to talk with more than one when multiple providers are available on the Provider Network. You may consider asking potential providers some of the following questions. Not all questions may be pertinent to your situation but they may help you formulate your own questions.
1. What is your agency’s mission statement and philosophy of delivering services?
2. How long has your agency been a provider?
3. How many people are receiving services and supports from your program?
4. How many people can the program serve?
5. Do you have references?
6. How much experience does your staff have in providing services and supports to people with (fill in the blank as appropriate, for example, a specific intellectual and developmental disability, mental health diagnosis, substance abuse issues, etcetera)?
7. How do you ensure that your staff are trained and prepared to provide services?
8. What kind of training has your staff had specific to serving people with (fill in the blank as appropriate, for example, a specific intellectual and developmental disability, mental health diagnosis, substance abuse issues, etcetera)?
9. How often does staff turn over, especially staff providing direct services?
10. Do you require pre-employment screenings (e.g., drugs, criminal background, abuse and neglect)?
11. Have allegations about abuse or neglect been made about your program? Have any been confirmed?
12. What types of emergencies or crises are staff trained to handle?
13. What is your staff-to-person ratio?
14. Do you have medical staff on site or on call?
15. What type of licensure or credential is required for staff?
16. Describe ways in which you involve a person and family members in the development of the person’s program/treatment plan. How are their preferences addressed if they differ from the goals of your agency?
17. Where will services be provided, i.e. in my home, in the community, in an office, in a facility, etcetera?
18. Do you provide transportation to, from, or during services?
19. Are you located on or near a bus route or other public transportation route? If so, where is the nearest public transportation stop?
20. Is your program accessible to people with mobility, visual, and hearing impairments? If so, in what ways is it accessible?
21. Do you have staff fluent in other languages or other types of communication (e.g., sign language, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic)? If not, is an interpreter available?
22. What are your days and hours of service? Do you provide services after-hours and on the weekends?
23. How willing are you to accommodate my preferences as to when my services are delivered?
24. How long does it take to get an appointment?
25. For residential or other facility-based programs, what types of personal-use items are purchased by your agency? What types are not?
26. For residential or facility-based programs, what are your policies regarding visitors and privacy?
27. For residential or facility-based programs, how much choice does a person have over their daily routine?
28. For residential or facility-based programs, what leisure and recreation activities are available?
29. What choices and services do you provide with regard to learning job skills, employment assistance, supported employment, etc.?
30. Describe how staff helps a person learn skills that support them in living a more independent, healthy, and empowered life?
31. Describe a typical day in your program?
32. Do you develop formal plans to manage behavior problems? If so, do those plans have to be approved by a special committee or an outside professional (e.g., a psychiatrist)? If a special committee is used, does it include outside members, professionals, family members, and persons receiving services?
33. Is staff available to support a person’s participation in community activities such as leisure activities, sports, and religious services?
34. Is medical staff willing to practice with a person who is uncomfortable with medical or dental procedures?
35. How does your agency build community awareness and reduce stigma?
36. How do I lodge a complaint if I am dissatisfied with some aspect of the services I am receiving from you?