Thank you for your interest in CCSI. Many times people who apply at our agency have not worked in the field before, and want to know what to expect. The following Job Preview will hopefully give you an idea of job expectations. What probably best describes CCSI homes is a residential setting serving adults with developmental disabilities.
Residential means we work with people in homes located in Worthington, Windom, Luverne and Sibley, Iowa. For example in Ridgewood we have 15 apartments with each person living in their own apartment. In the Community Living Alternatives homes, each person has their own bedroom, and share a common living room, bathroom and kitchen. Residential defines not only where people live but also what you might do on the job. Think about the things you do when you’re in your own home, when you’re not at work or school. Those are the kinds of things you could be doing while working at CCSI – except that you will be doing them in the context of assisting and supporting the people who live there. Thus, you may help someone get out of bed, get dressed, eat breakfast and brush their teeth… help someone take their medications…cook a meal…clean a bathroom…make their bed…wash clothes…rent a video and watch a movie…exercise…go out to eat…make a phone call…use the bathroom…write out a check…take a bath…water plants…grocery shop…go to a ballgame…go on a vacation! The activities you do each day will depend on whom you work with and their interests, as well as the day and time (getting ready for work in the morning vs relaxing on a weekend afternoon.)
The second term was people with development disabilities. Many people served by CCSI have a diagnosis of developmental disability, usually mental retardation. All the people we serve need assistance and support in their environments; help in order to do the everyday things we may take for granted. At that point though, any generalities we can make about the people we serve end. A few people may need only minimal assistance with areas like financial management, or food preparation, or social skills. Most people; however, need more assistance. That assistance can be anything from helping someone record a purchase in a checkbook to helping someone use the toilet, or helping someone sort their clothes or plan a meal. Many of the people we serve have limited reading or writing skills. Someone may have additional physical and/or medical problems. Some can walk, some can’t. Some can talk and carry on conversation, others have a very limited vocabulary, and others may communicate with sign language, electronic equipment, gestures or facial expressions. Many are limited in their social skills and may not know how to act in various social settings. Some may get upset easily, and not always handle their anger appropriately.
So what’s difficult about working at CCSI?
Working with people can be a demanding job. You will be asked to do a wide variety of different tasks, and the people you are serving may or may not want to do the task at hand. It takes time to develop a relationship with people. You may have to assist someone in very personal cares, like changing a disposable brief on an adult. Some people have difficulty expressing their needs and may strike out or yell at you in their frustration. You will be very busy at times, and may feel the pressures of “too much to do and not enough time”. You may be working in a situation where you are alone.
Working at CCSI is also very rewarding! Having a wide variety of tasks means a more interesting job. You will have an opportunity to get to know people, and to develop friendships and relationships that will become very meaningful to you. You’ll be able to see people grow and change, and you will see the impact you can make on other people’s lives. You will work as a member of the team. You will learn a lot from your coworkers and you will learn even more from the people you serve. You will be amazed to find out how smart people who have developmental disabilities are. You will do fun activities --- games, concerts, restaurants, movies and more, and get paid at the same time.