Also known as...
Program areas at Dr Piper Center for Social Services
Senior employment program the senior employment program provides employment opportunities for low- income seniors 55 and older and promotes them as a solution for businesses seeking trained, qualified, and reliable employees. Older workers are a valuable resource for the 21st century workforce, and the Dr. Piper Center is committed to providing high-quality skills training and employment assistance to participants. Through a comprehensive case management and skills training workshop low-income seniors are given the opportunity to compete in the job market. A comprehensive case management provides assistance in achieving optimal employment outcomes for low-income seniors, which involves assessment, counseling, training opportunities, service strategies and collaborative partnership with community and government agencies and businesses. A comprehensive case management also addresses barriers to employment goals and provides assistance to low-income seniors to manage those barriers. We provide opportunities for low-income seniors to update and/or gain useful employment skills through training and workshops that includes: introduction to computers; resume completion; job search fundamentals, internet job search; interview fundamentals; team work skills; time management skills; online applications; introduction to word; introduction to excel and introduction to typing, qualities of an effective mentor and tutor, roles that mentor can play in the lives of children, program requirements and ground rules for mentors and caregivers, communication skills, dementia, respite, elderly abuse, child abuse and others. When a prospective participant come to sign up, we immediately ask her to complete a form which includes personal information, employment history and employment goals. Once all the paperwork is done, we will discuss with the participant his/her employment goals and then develop the individual learning plan (ilp). The ilp will include the list of trainings, workshops, and schedule that the participant will commit to participate. Meanwhile the staff will continue to find available job opportunities in the area. We will work with career source and any agencies that hold job fair. We match participant's qualifications and skills with available employment opportunities and communicate with possible employer for possible job interview with our participants. for participants who may be eligible to become a senior companion or foster grandparent volunteer, we immediately start the enrollment process by sending them for federal background check. Once approved, we will send them for orientation, training and workshop. This is a win-win situation. Participants who have no income or maybe too young to receive Social security benefits will be earning a stipend while completing their ilp or employment opportunities. A total of 105 low-income enrollees were enrolled in this program and 92% were successfully placed in the senior companion program, foster grandparent program or other job placements. The program outcomes are as follows: 1.) 92% of participants in the skills training workshops are successfully placed and retained. 2.) 95% of participants in computer classes are actively searching and applying for job opportunities online. 3.) 99.8% of participants have total satisfaction with the amount of support received.
Senior companion program: the senior companion program provides volunteer opportunities and community involvement to low-income seniors 55 and older and serves frail homebound elderly, thus preserving their quality of life and independence. Nationally, the senior companion program under the corporation for national and community service started 50 years ago while the Dr. Piper Center has been the local sponsor of the senior companion program for 29 years. As a local sponsor, we enroll an average of 75 volunteers annually that serve at least 700-720 frail elderly clients. Senior companion volunteers must pass federal background check and national sexual predator test to qualify. A mandatory 20-hour orientation workshop and training is required by our volunteers before they are placed in a volunteer station. Volunteer stations are 501 (3) agencies that signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dr. Piper Center. The mou stipulates each of the Dr. Piper Center and volunteer station's duties and responsibilities. A client care plan must be developed and discussed with the volunteer including expected outcomes. The volunteer coordinator will monitor the volunteer's daily activities with the clients and conduct volunteer performance evaluation. The program's advisory council will also conduct a program survey annually. The target populations of this program are the home bound, frail elderly residents of lee county that are at risk of premature institutionalization. These are frail elderly seniors who have two or more disabilities or just been released from the hospital without any support at home. The target populations are those who need assistance of daily living activities (adl) and are listed as high priority clients in the assessment report completed by the case manager. The Services provided by the senior companion program includes client assessment, simple housekeeping, companionship and friendship, light meal preparation, running errands, advocacy, transportation to and from grocery shopping or medical appointments, and referral to other agencies for Services not provided by the Dr. Piper Center. The program also provides respite to full-time caregivers, giving caregivers the much-needed personal time to help prevent burn out. A total of 79,390 hours was provided by our senior companions this last fiscal year an increase of 5,500 hours from what was projected. Seven hundred and three (703) frail elderly clients were served and the following are the outcomes: 1.) 97.44 of the frail elderly clients served will have improved/maintained independent living. 2.) 98% of frail elderly clients served are less lonely and access to Services will have improved. 3.) 92.86% of senior companion volunteers benefit the program with increase health and longevity and feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Foster grandparent program: the foster grandparent program provides volunteer opportunities and community involvement to low-income seniors 55 and older and serves children through one on one mentoring and tutoring in schools, after school programs and summer programs. Nationally, the foster grandparent program started 55 years ago while the Dr. Piper Center has been the local sponsor of the foster grandparent program for 29 years. We enroll an average of 120 volunteers annually that serve at least 500 children. Foster grandparent volunteers after passing federal background check and national sexual predator test will attend a mandatory 20-hour orientation workshop and training in order to be effective in providing quality service to children with special needs. After the orientation, foster grandparent volunteers are assigned in volunteer station. Volunteer stations are schools, after school programs, head start and vpk that has a signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dr. Piper Center. A memorandum of understanding stipulates each of the Dr. Piper Center and volunteer station duties and responsibilities. The memorandum of understanding in lee county school district is signed by the school board so every school in lee county is considered a volunteer station. We have 65 volunteer stations in lee county including quality life Center. Once a volunteer is placed in a volunteer station, the coordinator or teacher will complete a child care plan to every child mentored and tutored by the volunteer. The child care plan will provide information such as the needs of the child, activities to meet those needs, expected accomplishment and outcomes. The child care plan is discussed with the volunteer upon assignment. The volunteer can work at least 20 hours per week with his/her assigned children. Every two weeks the teacher/coordinator will sign the volunteer timesheet to determine how many hours the volunteer work. Before the end of the school year, the volunteer coordinator will complete an outcome report for every child served, a survey and conduct a volunteer evaluation. After-school programs provide an opportunity for children and youth to enrich their academic learning and participate in cultural and recreational activities - all in a safe, supportive environment. These programs all have a well-developed curriculum implemented by staff and volunteers. The foster grandparent program provides one-on-one attention to children in after-school programs that will enable them to develop self-confidence, boost self-esteem, and reach their full potential. By the end of the school year the children mentored by foster grandparent volunteers will have increased their grade scores in academic subjects and be successfully promoted to the next grade level. Also, these children will show an improvement in Social behavior due to the one-on-one attention each child will receive from the foster grandparent volunteers. Foster grandparent volunteers will mentor/tutor children in after-school activities, including tutoring in reading, english, and spelling. Volunteers will listen to students read, tell stories, participate in word games, and conduct word identification exercises as assigned by instructors. Volunteers will provide homework help to students who are struggling academically and work through math problems by sitting individually with the child and working on each problem. Volunteers will review classroom assignments and instructional materials, assist with school projects and completion of homework assignments, while providing emotional support to students and helping to teach and reinforce appropriate classroom behavior. Volunteers will also participate in scheduled activities that are part of the after-school program curriculum, such as; engaging in recreation and outdoor play; explore and develop interests and talents; develop positive character traits, such as honesty, kindness and courage; and social-emotional competence through projects, discussions, stories, and games, all of which develop positive character and leadership skills. Children served by foster grandparents will gain individual attention they may not otherwise receive; tutoring to help them succeed in school, advice and life skills they need to lead productive lives, and the life-changing opportunity to know the consistent love of a foster grandparent. Foster grandparents help children develop skills, confidence, and strength of character to succeed in life; and they make their neighborhood stronger by helping children with special needs achieve their goals. Foster grandparent volunteers are assigned in schools, after school programs, voluntary pre-kindergarten (vpk). The teacher or volunteer coordinator will assign these volunteers to children who are struggling in academics. The volunteers will work with these students at least an hour a day for at least 20 hours per week. A child care plan developed by the teacher will provide the volunteers the necessary information on the child's needs, activities to meet those needs, expected accomplishment and expected outcomes. This fiscal year the foster grandparent program of sw Florida provided 112,101 hours of service to over 500 children with special needs. 97% of children provided with mentoring and tutoring were promoted to the next grade level while 100% of low-income seniors enrolled in the program were trained, retained and remained active and self-sufficient.