Community and home based services, this is what we want in the event that David comes home. We don’t think that we
are asking for a lot. According to one doctor, he needs 24 x 7 supports. I get that. Without staff, I think that we will be hard pressed to see success with bringing David home.
The biggest barrier to getting community services is budgetary. A lack of funds. All of the state of North Dakota is seeing a budget crunch. I understand that.
In North Dakota, at least at the facility where my son is, it costs approximately 225,000 dollars a year to keep him in the facility. This doesn’t include the roughly 45,000 dollars tuition the local school district pays to the school at the facility.
Imagine if we could hire staff at 14 dollars an hour.
Basic math shows us the following:
2080 hours is full time. If the wage is 14 dollars an hour, we are looking at a pretax payroll of 29,120 per staff member.
With a rotating shift of 3 staff per day in the summer, and 2 staff per school day during the school year, and 3 on the weekends, we would look at figure 7 staff year round.
7 staff at 2080 hours per staff: $203,840.
Of course, if we had to pay benefits, it would be considerably higher. But still. To get him home with supported staff would be a cost savings. Wouldn’t it?
Am I missing something? Even with the cost of tuition, which includes 2 hours a day transportation time, we would have staff 14 hours a day for David.
As it stands, to bring David home, without supports, it is my belief that we will see a return in behaviors within 8 months of his homecoming that would result in his return to a facility.
It’s not a huge wage. At 16 dollars an hour we could have 6.5 FTE (full time equivalent).
The thing is, it would provide jobs, it would bring David home to the family. We would love to have him home. However, it has to be supported, and it has to be safe for everyone, especially David.
Sure, my theories might be idealistic, altruistic and simple, but isn’t it possible?