NER honors the right of all children and adults with developmental disabilities to live, work, play, and make choices, thereby enriching our communities.
In an attempt to put this belief into practice, NER promotes the development of programs that are responsive to the individual needs of families with developmentally disabled members. As part of this effort NER operates residential and family support programs for people with developmental disabilities. In addition, the Board of Directors and employees of NER. strive to educate other members of the community on the right of people with developmental disabilities to enjoy life experiences that affirm their individuality, dignity and self-respect.
Brief Summary of Organizationâ€™s History:
Northeast Residence, Inc. (NER) first opened its doors in 1973 to provide long-term care to nine young children with profound and severe developmental disabilities. In 1982, NER was chosen to receive a grant, one of 13 organizations country wide, to offer a pilot program designed to provide respite care to families who had children with autism living in the family home. The purpose of this grant was to offer support to families as they struggled with the many challenges that having a child with autism presents. The belief at that time was that autism possibly was an environmentally induced problem and with â€œproperâ€ training and support, autism could be cured. The hope was that after a six- month training program the child could move back into the family home and things would be fine. Needless to say, this theory was not correct. But what people did learn was that the need for respite-care was huge and in fact, imperative if families were to keep their children with autism and other developmental disabilities at home rather than in long-term care institutions. NER is the sole survivor of the original 13 providers. NERâ€™s respite-care program has served more than 350 families since that time. In 1993 working with a grant from the St. Paul Foundation to develop a long-range plan, NER paved a path that has led to 28 programs for persons with physical and developmental disabilities. These programs include fully accessible respite care, after school programs, summer programs, an adult day program, in-home care for a few hours at a time as needed, and long-term care housing. In 1999 with gifts from friends, NER opened a respite-care home to replace the smaller one in White Bear Lake. This respite- care home is equipped to provide care to children and adults in wheelchairs, something we could never do before. Donations have also helped NER with capital improvements to existing properties allowing NER the ability to be good neighbors by keeping our homes in good condition and properties appealing to the neighborhoods in which they are located.
Brief Description of Organizationâ€™s current programs/activities:
1. Respite Care Population Served:
Autism, Epilepsy, Downâ€™s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Rhett Syndrome, Tuber Sclerosis, Attention Deficit Disorder, Pervasive Personality Disorder, and Bi-Polar are just a few of the diagnosis that children and adults served by NER have. The respite-care program serves individuals ages five to adult (the eldest client served was 85). Some have more than one diagnosis and some are also hearing and/or vision impaired.
The respite care program is open to anyone in the state of MN. Generally speaking though people are from the 5 county metro area with the vast majority of the people coming from Washington and Ramsey Counties. People have come from more than 42 different communities since the program first started.
Respite care serves a variety of needs including emergency placement due to illness or death in a family, to give family members a break from one another, and/or, to help the individual with disabilities become more independent and prepared to live apart from other family members. Respite also helps keep all family members emotionally healthy and better able to meet the needs of all family members, not just the one with the disabilities. As one parent states, â€œI am a single parent with two other children. Respite allows our family some normal time together that does not revolve around my (disabled) son. Respite also allows not only physical rest, but mental rest for me. With time off, I can be a better parent, without it my son could not live at home with us.â€
Another mother writes, â€œWith a handicapped child even our four year old has to assume the role of caregiver. She needs time away from that responsibility. It is not possible when the handicapped child is there.â€
More examples taken from NER surveys in response to the question can be found later in this application. Most impressive is that when asked â€œWhy do you need Respite, Why NERâ€ virtually everyone, 100% of all people feel that respite is a necessity, not just something nice to have. In additon all families who returned surveys said they would or they alreadt have recommended other families to NER.
2. Extended-Day/Summer Programs:
Primarily, the Extended-Day Program is designed for working (or just busy!) moms and dads with young and adult children who are developmentally disabled living at home. The blatant fact isâ€¦.. after-school programs for kids with developmental disabilities are few and far between. Moreover, many after-school programs only serve those up to a certain age, usually around twelve years old. Beyond this age, parents report there are no extended-day opportunities available. Many children with developmental disabilities remain in the family home well into their 20â€™s and 30â€™s and up.
Additional help to these families has enabled parents to work outside the home without the constant worry of after-school or day-program care. Families are also more able to make and keep medical appointments and to participate in school programs for their children without disabilities when they have extended-day programs available to them. This results in a lower incidence of family crises and a chance for families to spend what many call â€œnormalâ€ time together.
When asked how the extended day has helped their family, one mother wrote, â€œI would have lost my job by now if it hadnâ€™t been for this program. Last year I missed a lot of work because I didnâ€™t have dependable and capable help. My child loves the staff and the time she spends with peers and the staff are great.â€ Respite care also gives us a much needed break and provides opportunities for our child that would otherwise not be available. (NOTE: It was NERâ€™s respite care families that asked for after school care and now many of them use both programs.)
NER is very pleased that 100% of all families who responded to our surveys have rated the extended-day/summer program with an A or a B.
3. Long-term care:
In 1993, many respite-care families began to ask that NER open long-term care homes for their children. Prior to that time, when families were interested in long-term care, NER would have to tell them that we did not provide that service and that they should contact the county to find out how to proceed. Recognizing that this was not fair to families and that it provided an opportunity for NER to open long-term care homes, NER obtained a grant from the St. Paul Foundation to help develop a long-rang plan.
In 1994 our first two long-term care homes opened. NERâ€™s long-term care program now has a total of 24 homes. All but three of them include former respite-care clients. This says a lot about the confidence and trust families have in NER. Like other programs, families give NER long-term care programs high marks in all areas.
4. Adult-Day Care Center:
In 1999 some of the long-term care clients served by NER were having some major behavioral concerns and their day programs did not feel that they could continue to provide services for them. The concerns were for the safety of the other people served in the programs. It was NERâ€™s belief that the problems were more an issue of environmental concerns than anything else. The people involved had serious sensory related issues and the traditional day program setting, in our opinion was too large, too noisy, and had far too many people milling about.
In response to these concerns, NER opened its own day program for these highly aggressive individuals. We designed this program to not exceed six people at any one time with a staff ratio of one staff for every 2 people served.
The outcomes have been truly amazing! Within less than one year we saw the numbers of aggressions decline by over 80%! In the entire 13 years the worst â€œinjuryâ€ has been hair pulling, albeit severe hair pulling, there has not been another major incident in over three years.
This is just one more example of NERâ€™s willingness to be creative and to always put the clientsâ€™ needs above the bottom line and all else.
Why Choose NER
1. NER has served the twin cities area for more than 37 years
2. NER is a proven leader in innovative thinking to provide unique services to families who have members with developmental disabilities
3. NER has served more than 350 different families from 42 different communities in the metro area.
4. NER does not have the expertise, nor the ability to pay to have a quality web site developed but we do have the resources to keep one updated.
5. ER has an excellent history of using all gifts received to further the mission of the organization
6. NER has numerous testimonials from families, friends, and employees.
7. NER is continuously asked to do more with less and this support will make the organization more efficient, help donors make contributions more easily, help people recognize the need for volunteers in numerous ways, show support to our vendors and to those who support our fundraising events, serve as a link to all of these as well as to resources for families who are in need of support. 8.This website can also serve as a link to our employees in need of different kinds of support such as food shelves, counseling centers, and confidential reporting or commentaries.
9. NER is the best of the best! We have long-term employees who live and breath the mission because we truly honor the right of all children and adults with developmental disabilities to live, work, play, and make choices, thereby enriching our communities.
1) Crises Intervention: Visits due to death or medical emergency within the family, or any threat to the safety/well-being of a person.
2) Crises Prevention: Visits due to high stress levels within the family structure in part caused by the 24 hour day-to-day care of the individuals with disabilities.
3) Transitional Living: Preparation, for both family and client, for a more independent living situation. Adapting to living away from parents and with peers so as to be better prepared when the time comes.
4) Prevents Family Breakdown: Offers a chance to have normal times together, reduces stress and helps make family members (parents and siblings) better able to deal with day-to-day responsibilities.
Why Northeast Residence Respite Care Program:
1) Proven dedication and commitment of staff to provide quality, loving care. NOTE: Audited financial reports show over 89% of all dollars goes directly into programs.
2) NER Respite is highly recommended by county case managers, families and licensing workers.
3) NER Respite falls under state and federal rules and regulations and is inspected regularly for compliance.
4) Individuals need and want to spend time at NER.
5) NER Respite is essential if parents want to keep their children at home.
6) NER comes highly recommended by parents.
7) In recent surveys respondents rated quality of NER services excellent.
8) For many, Northeast Residence has been the only respite care available that will accept individuals who are non-ambulatory and/or diagnosed with severe and/or profound developmental delay.
9) For families who have children in wheelchairs there is little to no respite care available. Many of these families have never even spent one full day apart from their child with special needs. Some say, NER is their only hope of finding help!
Following is a sample of comments answering â€œWhy Respite, Why NERâ€ taken from surveys:
"Thank You ! Than You ! Thank You! You keep our family whole by giving us a respite break. A special place where we know our daughter is safe and happy!"
"We wish you would open a Respite Care Program in Little Falls or St. Cloud. We drive 400 miles round trip for a break for each Respite Stay!"
â€œOur daughter is mentally retarded and blind. NER has provided us with a sense of relief. We were able to take our first trip in 34 years when she was at NER. We would not have done this if the staff and supervision were not excellent. Our daughter enjoys going to NER.â€
â€œMy son can never be left alone although he is 16. Heâ€™s a child that will never grow up. He can be very destructive and violent and has temper tantrums. He gets up at night so I rarely get full nights sleep. As he gets bigger, so do the problems.â€
â€œI am a widow and over 70 years old. I have sole responsibility for my sonâ€™s personal care and all his needs.â€
â€œI am a single parent with two other children. Respite allows our family some normal time together that does not revolve around my (disabled) son. Respite also allows not only physical rest, but also mental rest for me. With time off, I can be a better parent, without it my son could not live at home with us.â€
â€œWith a handicapped child, even our â€œnormalâ€ four year old has to assume the role of caregiver. She needs time away from that responsibility. It is not possible when the handicapped child is there.â€
â€œThe only time our child gets a chance to go into the community is when he is at NER.â€
" We depend on Respite services in order to keep our daughter at home. She loves going and we have peach of mind knowing she is safe."
Extended day responses included:
â€œ The staff do an excellent job! They have good training and they are able to meet my childâ€™s needs.â€
"The extended-day staff is like family to our daughter."
â€œThe extended-day program gives me piece of mind and I do not have to worry about my child when I cannot be at home. The staff are wonderful and they know my child very well."
Long term Care survey results:
"She feels like staff is her family , which it is now. The staff that I know are caring and thoughtful of the residents they care for. She loves the trips they plan and offer her and she is always well taken care of. The house she lives in is nicer than the one I live in! That is a testetment to how good you folks take care of her."
"I am so pleased with the care and support my son receives receives at his home. The supervisor and staff are all great!"
â€œThe home is always clean and pleasing and the staff are friendly and kind to my
â€œI think NER does a very nice job. I know my childâ€™s medical needs are being met and that he is safe and happy.â€
â€œThe RN has been wonderful and she shows that she really cares about my son and his many medical problems. Since living in the NER home, his care has greatly improved.â€
â€œThe supervisor is very knowledgeable and does a great job of training staff. I really appreciate all the good care. My husband and I know that our son is in good hands and we do not worry about his future when we are no longer here.â€
"My sister has been with NER for 10 years and we all know she is happy and her medical needs are all taken care of, thank you!"
"The NER staff is so well trained and qualified. Communication lines are always open and well received. We couldnâ€™t imagine a better place for our son."
"I always tell people about how wonderful NER is and how helpful NER has been to our family with support and kindness and caring. I am so lucky to have had NER in our life for the past 24 years. I canâ€™t imagine trying to manage without the help and caring NER has been to our family."
"When Robert first began coming to Northeast Residence, Inc. (NER), he was six years old and in school. The schoolâ€™s before and after-care system was not a good fit for Robert, so we began looking for alternatives. We found that alternative in NERâ€™s extended-day and summer program in White Bear Lake. Robert spends after-school time and non-school days in the company of his peers, going on outings, doing activities, or just chillinâ€™ out, all while being cared for by trained, caring staff. We couldnâ€™t go to work and do the things we do if it werenâ€™t for extended day.
Robert also receives care through NER's in-home program. His staff, who also happen to work with him at the extended day program, comes to our family home to do things with Robert while we tend to other family and household needs. With these two supports in plac we are able to put the "normal" routine back in our family.
When Robert turned 15 we felt it was time to give respite care a try. So, in January, of last year Robert began attending respite care as a â€œstepping stoneâ€ for Robertâ€™s future. It was harder on us than it was on Robert. He really did well on his first visit sleeping away from home. Admittedly, it was not as easy one us. But, after his second visit and we saw that he made himself at home, we became more comfortable. We know heâ€™s in good hands; we know we donâ€™t have to worry. NER has taken the stress out of our lives.â€
Jim and Kathy Florian
"It has been more than 20 years since we were first introduced to NER. Our county social worker recommended we consider using NERâ€™s out of home respite care program to allow us the opportunity for periodic breaks from the day-to-day care for our daughter, Karen
Respite provided more than we realized was possible. Not only did we get the much needed breaks, but the respite care program also gave Karen a sense of independence while at the same time laying the foundation for what Karen would experience ten years later.
In August of 2000, Karen moved from our home to one of NERâ€™s â€œgroup homesâ€. Karen enjoys living with three housemates and she has established that she doesnâ€™t live with her parents anymore and that she has her own home now. She likes to visit us, but is happy to return to â€œherâ€ home. Karen loves her home and loves her staff.
Karen also attends NERâ€™s adult day program, an alternative to the traditional day program. This smaller and staff intensive program provides Karen with the structure and environment she needs to be successful throughout her days
NER ranks as the best group home in the twin cities. I can say this because through my work I have seen many other group homes and none of them compare to NER.
As an adult who had never lived away from her parentâ€™s home, the transition to a group home would have been devastating for Karen and for us had she not used the respite care program first. We are so very grateful to NER and pleased with the choices we have made for Karen. NER ROCKS! John and June Martin
Spotlight...An Interview with the Jantzen Family:
Elizabeth Jantzen was first introduced to NER just over three years ago at the suggestion of her social worker. She began visiting our respite-care program in Little Canada for overnight stays. Respite allows her parents, Jim and Joy, to do things they might not otherwise be able to do while Elizabeth is at home, like a vacation. It also allows Elizabeth time away with her peers, as most young adults enjoy. She likes the activities and the people at the NER respite program. As Joy shared, â€œShe loves it!â€
Later the following year, Elizabeth began coming to our extended-day program in White Bear Lake. This was a much-needed program for her parents who, up until this time, had to piece together care for Elizabeth in order to go to work. In addition, the care was often undependable. NER extended-day has given them the dependability they need. Their work schedule, as Jim said, is â€œnot all hinged on the performance of one individualâ€. .. coming into their home. Elizabeth loves the social time with peers and activities at extended-day. Jim and Joy said Elizabeth talks about her extended day friends often.
Elizabeth also enjoys the in-home care she receives from NER. A staff from the extended-day program comes to the family home to be with her, which gives her parents time to tend to other household and personal needs. The staff also helps Elizabeth attend her many outside activities such as going to pottery class and participating in the handbell choir at the MacPhail Center for Music.
The mix of programs that Elizabeth and her family participate in at NER works well for them. In fact, Joy said, â€œTheyâ€™re survival now. Without them, I donâ€™t know how weâ€™d survive.â€ The combination of respite, extended-day and in-home provides a balance that meets the needs of the entire family. The needs of our families have always driven and created our responsive programs. Referring to the variety of programs NER provides to its families, Jim said, â€œNER has the whole enchilada.â€ We like to think so.
Elizabethâ€™s future plans include attending a day program and getting a job. Another possibility is a group home that she calls her own. However, group home funding for this type of living arrangement is on hold along with the stateâ€™s economy. For now, they are very satisfied with the programs NER offers, and we are happy to serve them.
What new functionality we are looking for
Professional, yet easy to navigate
While there are many things to consider and we only learned of this program five days ago, we have been busy coming up with some ideas that we are really excited about.
NER recognizes that if we are chosen for this amazing opportunity we have a lot of work to complete in a fairly short period of time, but we are up to the challenge. Heck, we have to meet some pretty big challenges nearly every day and this is what keeps many of us motivated and energized.
For the purpose of creating a website that can really â€œPOPâ€ I have solicited the input from NERâ€™s board of directors, the quality assurance team, the HR department, the training department, the finance department, and from information and comments that parents have mentioned over the years.
We envision some sort of headers at the top of the home page that would lead readers to the various areas such as:
Programs and Services, Resident Spot Light, Board Activities, Special Events, Career Opportunities, Donations and on-line giving, Training, Annual Report etc
Other things that have been suggested include:
-Pictures of residents- activities
-Board profile and volunteer opportunities.
--Monthly newsletters posted
Job descriptions, including desired work experience
-Internship & volunteer opportunities (get word out to colleges for paid internship- like what Amanda did)
-Option to "subscribe" to job opportunity updates (if updated weekly)
Lists of employment opportunities
Online training options
Education on various kinds of giving. Just information on planned giving, our endowment, general donations, etc. Then, maybe have a link to our actual donations page from that page?â€™
Parent support group meetings
Links to services with various support services for staff and/or parents.
Information on Special Needs Trusts
Information on Burial Funds
How the new functionality will help
NER fully believes that we are the leader in providing quality services for families and individuals with developmental disabilities. Often times counties contact us and ask if they can have a family tour some of our homes just so they can see what a "group home" can and should look like.
We set the standard high and we want to raise the bar high for all providers. We want to be the example for others to follow and we beleive that this new and improved website can help us achieve that goal by educating families and other providers.
We also believe that it is our responsiblity to do wahtever we can to help eliminate the stigma of having a "group-home" in your neighborhood. When we do our jobs well, with good supervisions, self-evlauations, obtaining good feedback, and being responsive to concerns from neighbors and/or parents only then are we able to make good progess in meeting this goal.
This website will give people are opportunity to learn more about NER and to provide feedback and ask questions. We can even have our annual parent surveys on the web site for those who prefer to do them on line.
It will also provide information on how to learn more about obtaining services and how to support our mission through volunteer work and various kinds of donations.
We would like to be linked with local high school or colleges for work study or internship programs. NER has had several employees go on to be special education teachers, a couple of them have become physicians, some RN's etc. The work provides excellent experience for so many different areas as well such as such as physical therapy, are andmusic therapy, neurology, psychology or psychiatry etc. The list goes on and our college students by and large have little to no experience working with people with special needs......even if it is their plan to work in the medical or educational fields.
How our organization will use the technology
Who will use the technology
3 Messages from Supporters