The Wisconsin Division of Disability and Elder Services applied for Technical Assistance (TA) to help them implement their “Meeting the Demand for Quality Direct Care Workers Resulting from Managed Long-Term Care Expansion” project. The intent was to use the TA to develop a methodology for projecting the demand for direct care workers; develop training materials for self-directed consumers and workers; explore incorporating DSW quality measures into Family Care CMO contracts with long-term care-providers; and, support the implementation of the College of Direct Support (CDS). Due to changes in personnel within Wisconsin Division of Disability and Elder Services, some of these goals were not implemented.

The main focus of the TA has been to help Wisconsin implement a College of Direct Support Pilot Project. Wisconsin recognizes the ongoing challenges to recruit and retain well-trained, competent and confident direct support professionals. They understand the critical role direct support professionals play in the lives of people with disabilities. The goal of this project was to show how CDS can offer both quality and accessibility in the education of Direct Support Professionals and thereby improve the lives of citizens with disabilities in Wisconsin. Included in this pilot project are the Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD) (formerly the Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities) in partnership with the UW-Madison Waisman Center, and the UW-Oshkosh Center for Career Development and Employability Training (CCDET). This team initiated a Direct Service Workforce Training Initiative using the College of Direct Support (CDS).

The TA provided to Wisconsin by the DSW Resource Center has supported the BPDD, the Waisman Center, and the UW-Oshkosh CCDET in kicking off and rolling out a CDS Pilot in Wisconsin. Over the course of the project, the TA team:

  • Met with CDS Systems Planning group members to help shape their CDS Project Design through a CDS Orientation and Q&A session
  • Answered questions about CDS and offered resources and tools that will guide their progress through regular and ongoing TA phone contacts
  • Provided help to develop plans for implementation of a CDS Rollout with the two project groups
  • Provided help to develop an effective evaluation of the project by submitting an evaluation plan proposal for the planning group to review
  • Assisted Wisconsin in cross-walking the state’s requirement for training for Community Based Residential Facilities (CBRFs) with CDS course materials.

Thus far, the major outcomes of the Wisconsin CDS Pilot Project include a finalized Waisman Center contract with MC Strategies for implementation of a CDS pilot project involving direct support professionals (from three Dane County agencies) who serve consumers (up to 125 maximum) with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This contract continues through February 2009. Second, a Crosswalk was developed between the CDS curriculum content and the State of Wisconsin regulations (HFS 83) for training of staff working in community-based residential facilities outlining areas covered in both and noting areas that need annotation in CDS. Third, a full day planning session involving fifteen stakeholder entities was held to help the CDS Systems planning group design a kickoff and rollout of the CDS Pilot. Finally, the BPDD and the UW-Oshkosh finalized an interagency agreement establishing UW-Oshkosh as the state administrator of the Wisconsin CDS project. The Wisconsin CDS project was established involving six residential agencies and three vocational agencies (including those agencies from the aforementioned Waisman pilot) that provide services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Currently, there are eight direct-care agencies implementing the use of CDS as part of their training regime. The implementation plans include enrolling managers/front-line supervisors into CDS courses first and then expanding to direct support professionals through new employee orientation or other trainings. The agencies have agreed to establish the use of the Direct Support Professionalism course as a baseline course in this pilot. Although all agencies are using this course with their trainees, they are also free to select and use any of the other available courses in CDS and the College of Frontline Supervision and Management (CFSM). As of September 2008, over 250 learners have been enrolled and over 1700 CDS lessons have been completed in Wisconsin. Thus far, learner evaluations of the CDS and online learning have been quite positive.

The next large goal of the pilot is to establish the mentoring program to support learners in demonstrating the competencies learned through CDS. It is anticipated that at least one organization already participating in the pilot will volunteer to develop this concept in their CDS model.

For More Information Contact:

Jacki Rueden

Created by: admin. Last Modification: Wednesday 25 of March, 2009 14:57:24 EDT by admin.

What's New?

The DSW Resource Center closed effective August 31, 2014. The site is being maintained as a static archive of resources through December 2014.

Please visit the CMS Workforce Page (external link) and visit our partners’ websites for additional information on or after December 31, 2014.

Check out the Winter 2014 edition of the DSW Resource Center newslettter!

The DSW Resource Center has published a White Paper summarizing this summer's webinar series.

The US Department of Labor (external link) announced a new rule to the Fair Labor and Standards Act which focuses on guaranteeing minimum wage and overtime for home care workers including those in the Direct Service Workforce. This rule will go into effect January 1, 2015. The DSW Resource Center created a Home Care Rule Page with information and resources related to this announcement.

We released two new Starter Kits for NWD/SEP Systems including ADRCS. Starter Kit for No Wrong Door/ Single Entry Point Systems Working to Strengthen the Home and Community-Based Direct Service Workforce and Starter Kit for NWD/SEPs: Design Considerations for Publicly-Funded Matching Service Registries for Home and Community Services.

We published Coverage of Direct Service Workforce Continuing Education and Training within Medicaid Policy and Rate Setting - A Toolkit which presents strategies and methods for covering the cost of continuing education and training for the DSW.
RSS feed Blogs