SVV Consolidation Update
Due to a variety of factors, it has been decided to complete the consolidation of our residential program into the Pot Spring Building by the end of August, 2015. The reasons for doing this earlier than originally projected include:
1.There have been ongoing challenges with filling our RTC staffIn order to solidify and strengthen teams, we will be filling our vacancies with current staff (from the units that will be closing)
2.Census/Referral Trends—We have experienced lower number of referrals for a long
3.Most staff have been informed of their employment status when the consolidationThose who have not will be met with within the next week or two. Just as with Villa Maria School, we wanted to share this information now in order to give staff who are not guaranteed a position time to find alternative employment. As we experienced during the first consolidation several years ago, some staff will choose to leave sooner rather than later and when this happens, there is a potential for impact on team dynamics, morale and quality of care. It is imperative that we consolidate in such a way that does not compromise safety and quality of care for the kids, families and staff.
4.With the Department of Community Resources programs moving out of the Dulaney Valley building within the next few months, I am concerned about the vitality of the DVIt is becoming increasingly difficult to come to a building that is more than half empty. While we hoped that we would get the UAC program in the DV building, there is not a guarantee this will happen and we need to move forward.
As a result of the above reasons, the tentative timeframe for unit closures/move is as follows:
1.Phoenix will close by 1/15/15.
2.Sojourner will close by 4/15/15.
3.Genesis will close by 6/30/15.
4.Gonzaga will close by 8/31/15.
5.Ambrose will move to Pot Spring by 8/31/15.
The specific units and timeframe are subject to change based on referral/census changes, staff departures, level of disruption for the children, families and staff, implications for clinical readiness and continuity and other variables. We will keep you informed if these timeframes change. We will continue to evaluate this plan on a regular basis, maintain open communication and seek feedback throughout the process.
The reason for staggering the closure of the units is to maintain as much continuity as possible for as long as possible. Our past experience shows it can take 2 months or more to downsize a unit. We will be “freezing” new admissions into the units that will be closing a couple of months prior to closure while simultaneously discharging or transferring the children, whichever is clinically in their best interest. We will be renovating Nazareth to add a 14th diagnostic bedroom as this will serve as the one Diagnostic Unit. The reason the Nazareth space was chosen over the Genesis space is because they currently have 13 bedrooms, whereas Genesis has 12. The name of the consolidated Diagnostic Unit has not been determined. However, it is likely to have a new name.
During the consolidation process, for the children in the RTC units that will be closing and who are not ready for discharge, they will transfer to another RTC unit at PS, thereby increasing the number of kids in each RTC unit to an average of 12, with the potential of an occasional overlapping 13th child. As we increase the number of children in each RTC unit, we will also increase the number of full-time staff to ensure appropriate support and coverage.
There are some positions which will be changed, reduced or eliminated as part of this process. The individuals most closely affected by the changes are aware and have had an opportunity to discuss with their supervisors. The staff of the units which will be closing will be met with individually soon to discuss their preferences for transfer. We will do our best to accommodate preferences as much as possible.
I have some very good news to share. Along with these changes and in order to improve staff recruitment and retention and balance the budget, we plan to increase the new hire base rates for our RTC 1, RTC 2 and Sr. RTC. We are looking into rate adjustments for of our current RTC 1’s, 2’s and Sr. RTC’s based on the new levels. We will also be expanding the types of Bachelor’s degrees we can consider in hiring (historically, it had to be in a human service field) and pilot hiring one non-degreed (high school diploma) staff per unit. The timing of these changes are yet to be determined.
I am sensitive and sympathetic to the emotional impact the consolidation and unit/building closing will have on many. It’s hard on a number of levels. It’s also hard because we still don’t know if we will be receiving the grant to serve unaccompanied youth, which may provide employment opportunities for some staff whose jobs will be impacted by the residential consolidation. As you know, this will impact whether we close the Dulaney Valley building.
During times of significant change, communication and timely and accurate information is critical. Such an environment is also ripe for misinformation and rumor to take hold. We will strive to provide regular communication for our staff via all staff meetings, residential updates and other vehicles. If you come across information which is unclear to you or different than what we may have communicated, I encourage you to please share these observations and questions with your supervisor, Ray, Mike or myself.
As always, please seek the support of your colleagues, supervisor, Department Director or HR Manager. I am also more than happy to meet with any staff individually.
We will hold three SVV All Staff Meetings to discuss these plans further and to answer your questions. They will be held:
Wednesday, 11/19 at 1:00p.m. at PS Gym
Wednesday 11/19 at 9:00p.m. at DV Board Room
Saturday, 11/22 at 2:15p.m. at PS Training Room
We will let you know when the children, families and other consumers will be informed of the changes.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this process.