Key Assets Specialized Group Home Program

Key Assets Kentucky Group Home Program licensed its first specialized group home in December 2014 and currently has eight group homes located in a three-county area. Each specialized group home is licensed as a 2-3 bed residential treatment facility/group home designed especially to meet the unique needs of children with co-occurring disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Developmental or Intellectual Disorder or mental health disorder. These group homes are a part of our Children in Community Care (CCC) Program where we serve children who are currently in the custody of the Department for Community Based Services, diagnosed with ASD and have been living in psychiatric hospitals due to the lack of available community resources. All group homes are located in a residential neighborhood so the child may experience being a part of a community. In addition to attending public school, staff will provide several opportunities throughout the week for the child(ren) to learn and practice community living skills by going to places such as the YMCA, local museums, indoor and outdoor parks, shopping centers, restaurants and community events. Staff will also facilitate family relationships by coordinating phone calls and/or visits.

Each specialized group home is supported by a team that consists of the following:

A Case Manager takes the lead on assuring the child/youth’s physical, cognitive, social, emotional needs are met as well as working in partnership with the local DCBS Social Services Worker, school, and other community partners.

A Therapist not only provides therapeutic support and planning to the child/youth but also works in partnership with the Behavior Support Specialist and therapeutic child support staff to ensure the Positive Behavior Support Plan is implemented and appropriate.

Therapeutic Child Support Workers are the change agents for the child! This working relationship is paramount to the child’s feeling of safety and security that will allow for growth and progress. These workers provide support and supervision through following a structured daily schedule as well as the child’s Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBSP). All are trained on the PBSP by CBA, our contracted agency who provides all of the ABA services. These workers will typically work an 8 hour shift with one to two other workers and may assist with any of the following: modeling or providing hand-over-hand assistance to complete Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, toileting or eating; planning and supporting the child in a community outing to the park, local YMCA or church; leading the child in activities that support their educational, social and emotional growth; medication administration; and, preparing meals that will meet their individual nutritional needs. For children who are non-verbal, workers also assist them in developing their communication skills by using their preferred method of communication i.e. ASL or PECS.

A House Manager is responsible for assuring the home is environmentally and physically safe, children/youth have well-balanced meals, adequate supplies and personal items, as well as reliable and safe transportation. Additionally, House Managers take care of all of the regular maintenance needs of the home and vehicle. Because House Managers also work with the children/youth in the homes, they also serve as role models when implementing the child’s individualized behavior support plan.

All CCC Staff receive individualized training on the child’s behavior plan as well as certifications in: Safe Crisis Management, Community Support Associate, Therapeutic Use of Daily Life Events, Pediatric and Adult CPR/First Aid and other required trainings. Staff also receive ongoing training in the area of Autism.

Since Key Assets’ Children in Community Care Program began in January 2014, we have “deinstitutionalized” 12 children with hopes of it growing to 20 in 2017.