Lodestar Children’s Services works with children and families through the NYS Office of Mental Health Home and Community Based (HCBS) waiver program and Children & Family Treatment Supports & Services (CFTSS) array. We are a designated provider of these services in Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties.
Lodestar’s Competitive Advantage
Lodestar will surpass existing providers in the following key areas:
-A culture that is zealously anti-bureaucratic: For waiver services to succeed and be meaningful, programs must start with a lean structure that allows for the most funds to go to services. This is an imperative given the current rate structure.
-Attracting and Retaining High-caliber staff: Lodestar will pay higher wages, as well as use its existing network to identify and recruit high caliber staff. These costs will be offset by lower costs in other areas such as administrative and bricks and mortar costs. Lodestar will also teach and encourage people to maximize their time through development of engagement skills and emphasis on the importance of sustained and consistent intervention. All of these emphases will not only result in better service, but in higher employee satisfaction than the field.
-Real-time support tailored to needs: We will go out of our way to ensure families know we’re there when they need us- for most of them, this means evening and weekend visits and a willingness to come out to a home on the spot. Similarly, we will recognize and honor the truism that more intensive services are needed in the beginning of an episode. Lodestar will meet this need through focused discussion with families and partner agencies towards careful tailoring of budgets and through seeking to begin services as soon as possible, independent of enrollment dates.
-Family choice: The current waiver system on Long Island does not show a true commitment to family preference. The most glaring example can be found in the lack of males performing this work (estimated at less than 10%), despite that the vast majority of waiver clients being male (estimated at around 67%) and having a preference for male workers. Lodestar will endeavor to match family cultural, age, and experiential preferences. This will be accomplished primarily through targeted hiring described above, but also through a commitment to empowerment philosophies.
-Meaningful intervention rooted in self-direction: Lodestar will encourage families to learn about and select from proven intervention systems. Lodestar will insist on a collective effort to intentionally focus services on accomplishing goals. Lodestar will do so through the honoring of family autonomy- especially families whose kids qualify for residential facilities but who have determined a different path. We recognize that they need to be empowered to make their own decisions with us serving as “consultants,” not “bosses.” However, the recommendation for structure and intentionality should be strong and persuasive