Our services are designed to help our members achieve the greatest degree of independence and meaningful social inclusion possible. Our staff works with each member to help them create Individual Program Plans that are based on their strengths. Each member’s Plan reflects a set of choices for services that they will engage in to develop the skill sets that they need to live self-directed lives that are as autonomous and socially inclusive as possible.
Neumann Day Program: Helping Members Reach their Goals
Neumann’s Day Program is tailored to meet the needs of adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health issues. By combining evidence-based approaches for learning, skills development, and recovery support, our Day Program is able to offer a wide range of programming for members to choose from that will help them move towards independence and meaningful social inclusion.
Active Learning: Developing Skills for Independence and Meaningful Social Inclusion.
Neumann’s Day Program provides members a broad set of experiential, interest-driven activities that promote “learning by doing”. Active Learning Clubs are arranged around Neumann’s two overall goals of promoting independent living and meaningful social inclusion. Some Clubs engage members around a set of activities that help them develop critical skill sets that they need to move towards self-directed living and increased independence: physical dexterity, communication, problem-solving, literacy/numeracy, and basic healthy living skills like shopping, healthy cooking, cleaning, etc:
- Arts & Crafts (self-expression, dexterity, problem-solving)
- Music & Dance/Movement (self-expression, dexterity, physical activity)
- Drama & Theatre (literacy, self-expression)
- Educational Gaming & Computer Literacy (problem-solving, web and app utilization, email)
- Healthy Homes & Healthy Lifestyles (household maintenance, healthy eating through food shopping and preparation, cleaning, roommate relations)
Other Active Learning Clubs help members develop the skills that they need for meaningful social inclusion by providing activities that help members learn how to acclimate to the larger, mainstream environment, gain self-confidence around interacting with people who do not have IDD-MI, learn to self-transport, and acquire job skills. The majority of the activities in these Clubs occur off-site, in the mainstream community:
- Community Exploration (acclimation, self-transport)
- Community Volunteer (acclimation, interaction, filing, reception, communication)
- Gardening & Farmers Market (natural science, scheduling, physical labor, commercial transactions)
- Sports & Physical Activity (YMCAs, running/walking clubs)
- Storeroom Management (inventory, order fulfillment, filing, shredding)
- Maintenance & Grounds keeping
- Culinary & Foodservice
Members have the choice as to which Clubs they participate in, as Day Programming runs on a trimester basis. This allows members to participate in up to 6 difference Active Learning Clubs over a 12-month period of time.
Neumann’s Career Services provides members with access to integrated, community-based, competitive employment. Working with our Job Developers, members identify their choices for work in the community that they are interested in pursuing. Developers work with employers to find matches between their needs and the skills and abilities of our members. When there is a match, the member is hired at a competitive wage and becomes an employee.
Competitive employment plays a significant role in helping members achieve their goals of independence and meaningful social inclusion. The wages that competitive employment provides members allows them to become financially stable and to take advantage of other programs and services that are community-based and inclusive, such as Supportive Housing.
Recovery Support Services.
Because Neumann targets its programs and services to adults with both a dual diagnosis of Intellectual/Developmental Disability and Mental Illness, as well as to adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disability and Significant Mental Health issues, Day Programming is oriented to provide a set of recovery support services to help members in mental health recovery sustain their progress. Active Learning Clubs provide peer-led learning and support, help members develop healthy habits, are individualized and based on members’ strengths, are self-directed through member choice, and focus on developing meaningful social inclusion. All of these program objectives adhere to best-practice based recovery support programming.
Neumann Family Services, in partnership with the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities, has launched a new project - Proud & Included - to create community and inclusion for adults in Cook County with IDD who identify as LGBTQ. Center
on Halsted, Blue Tower Solutions, and The Self-Advocacy Alliance of Illinois are providing project support as well.
Proud & Included offers monthly group meetings to bring people together, learn about the resources that exist in the larger LGBTQ community, learn about their own sexuality, share stories and experiences, meet LGBTQ leaders, and develop peer-to-peer support. In
addition, Proud & Included provides self advocacy training to LGBTQ adults with IDD.
Proud & Included is also working with the larger LGBTQ community to educate them about the importance of inclusion for people with IDD, and work with them on creating inclusive space in their programs and services. In addition, Proud & Included is committed to fostering
access to community and inclusion through participation in LGBTQ inclusive events throughout Cook County.
To learn more about Proud & Included and/or join us, please visit us at: proudandincluded.org
Residential Services: Housing Options to Meet Individuals’ Choices and Needs
Neumann’s Residential Services provide a range of housing options to meet the needs and choices of members.
We currently operate 20 CILAs (Community Integrated Living Arrangement) for individuals with Developmental Disabilities and 6 CILAs for individuals with a primary diagnosis of mental illness. These are group homes with 4 to 8 individuals living together whom we support with 24x7 staff. Members in these residences need significant levels of support.
While our houses are clearly separated into housing for members with I/DD and members with mental illness, most of our members are dual diagnosed. We separate them because the State requires that we do so based upon their primary diagnosis.
CILA housing is located throughout the north and west sides of Chicago, and Each unit is staffed with direct service providers who help members learn independent living skills, including healthy cooking, cleaning, how to care for their rooms and possessions, how to communicate with housemates, and how to use public transportation.
We also operate a “crisis” house for individuals with I/DD who are in unmanageable crisis either in their home environment or in CILAs run by other organizations. Again our focus is on providing stabilization services for up to three months and then transferring them into our own housing or back to their home of origin if that is where they desire to go.
For most members, CILA housing is simply a place to start to develop the life skills around housing (household maintenance, shopping, meal preparation, chores, communal living skills) that they will build over time, and will prepare them to be able to choose housing options that provide increasingly less supervision. These include:
Intermittent CILA housing which is available for members who have developed independent living skills and would like to increase their autonomy and social inclusion. In these units, 2 to 4 indivduals share a 2 to 4 bedroom apartment and receive up to 15 hours of support per week, as well as ongoing support and services through Neumann’s Day Programs and Health Services if they so desire. Intermittent CILA housing is provided in scattered-site apartments.
Supportive Housing is available for members who are employed in the community and have developed the autonomy and social inclusion skills that are necessary to be able to live without on-site supervision. Members living in Supportive Housing can live alone or with a housemate of their choosing, and can continue to participate in ongoing services with Neumann (Day Program, Health Services) when they are not working.
Health & Clinical Services
Based in our on-site clinic, our Registered Nurses work with our psychiatrist and team of physicians to assure that all members have a mental and physical health assessment and a coordinated care plan based on that assessment. We also have a team of medical case managers to assure that members receive proactive care to address healthcare needs as identified in each coordinated care plan. On-site services include urgent care/triage, ophthalmology, podiatry, dental care, individual and group therapy, medicinal management, and lab work. For members with healthcare needs that require specialized services, our medical case managers link members to providers in the Be Well Partners in Health Network, of which Neumann is a founding member.
In addition to physical health services and medication management, Neumann has also introduced a nutrition focus into its residential program. Partnering with Mainstay and using their My25 Program materials, every residential member receives a personalized diet and set of menus to work with that optimize their health and wellness. House managers and direct service providers are trained to work with members to shop and prepare their own meals and understand their nutritional needs.
Finally, since Neumann members also have mental health diagnoses ranging from anxiety and depression to schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, and a range of borderline personality disorders, counseling and therapy are an integral part of our service plans. Offered by a team of therapists, an art therapist and our senior psychologist, the team works closely with our psychiatrist, doctors, case managers, the day program providers and the residential staff to provide a well-rounded set of behavioral supports that include behavioral analysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a variety of talk therapies as needed.
Neumann’s Case Management Program is the key to how we help individuals move towards greater independence. Case managers are assigned to all Neumann members, and each works to create the best, individualized program and housing plan possible. Case managers are mostly masters level human service workers or have many years of experience in working with Neumann members.
Case managers are a combination of resource manager, coach, and strategist.
As resource manager they are there to help members:
- Access health care, medication and therapeutic services;
- Obtain and maintain state and federal entitlements;
- Find suitable living arrangements;
As coach, they are there to:
- Identify and take advantage of available educational and supportive services both within Neumann and outside it;
- Be a trusted and individual mentor as they learn to navigate the world within and outside Neumann;
As a strategist, their role is to know each individual so well and to understand their dreams and aspirations so well that they can help point them in new directions that will move them towards greater autonomy and independence.
It is the responsibility of the case manager to work with other Neumann staff in residential and day program services to adapt strategies within their own domain of service that supports each member's goals.
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