Where to Begin?

How does your mission and values set your services apart from others?

The core of our mission at Sunshine is creating community, or what some have called “community integration.” At Sunshine, we believe that quality of care – really, the quality of life – is rooted in meaningful relationships and shared experiences. For that reason, we support individuals of all abilities as they connect to the community around us in the ways they choose – whether that’s in enjoying a baseball game or a trip to the zoo, eating at a favorite restaurant with friends, or exploring a nature park.

What services do you offer?

Sunshine has been home for people with disabilities since we opened in 1950, and we offer residential support in several areas – from our 25-acre campus in Maumee, to 20 family care homes, to supported living sites in Lucas, Fulton and Wood counties.
We’ve evolved over the decades to meet the needs as people with disabilities as they take live more active lifestyles and take on bigger roles in the community. Sunshine’s job coaches find jobs for people with disabilities and help workers apply for, train for, and keep those positions, while our day activities staff help enrich the lives of those who aren’t part of paid employment, offering purposeful activities and encouraging community-based experiences. In addition to these residential and vocational services, we offer a recreation program, transportation, and clinical care, including one of the only programs in Ohio that provides ventilator support for adults and children.

Does your agency provide any additional training beyond what the Ohio DODD requires?

Sunshine believes frequent, updated training is crucial in providing the best care. In addition to state training requirements, Sunshine mandate quarterly training in areas that include safety, health, person-centered planning, and the rights of those we support. Additionally, we offer a free, on-line library of classes that staff can access throughout the year. In fact, our Getting Ahead classes were recently featured in The Blade here.

 

What is the enrollment process?

First, let’s talk. It starts with a phone call to 419-865-0251. If you decide to move forward, we’ll send you a Sunshine application. This comprehensive, 9-page document lets us know about your needs and the needs of your loved one. This is the first step in determining whether we’re the right fit for each other.
We also want to review with you existing personal support plants, such as an IEP, IP, ISP, or BSP. This helps us determine whether we can meet the supports already in place, and if so, how we can build on them. We’d love to meet you face-to-face, and you can take tours and schedule several visits if necessary to help both with your decision and with the transition. Finally, we’ll schedule an “Expectations Meeting” in addition to a traditional Pre-Admissions meeting. This way, we can know very clearly what you need from us, and you and your loved ones will know what you can expect from us.

Have staff been trained in person-centered planning?

Absolutely. A person-centered approach is at the core of all we do at Sunshine. All employees are trained on person-centered planning during Orientation and required to take an on-line refresher course person-centered training every year. We feel so strongly that we make this course part of our “compliance review.”
Person-driven decisions are part of our culture and our frequent discussions at Sunshine. Managers and supervisors not only ensure decisions include a person’s preference, but also that staff implementing those decisions understand the importance of the individual’s choice in them.

What is the agency culture?

Sunshine has offered a safe, clean and nurturing environment since our founders opened it as a Children’s Home in 1950. In the decades since, we’ve built on those core mandates with five other values: tenderness, integrity, spirituality, mutuality, and stewardship. From everyday moments to life’s biggest events, our efforts founded on safety, kindness and the respect for the dignity of all people. That, in turn, means we journey alongside each other in finding purpose and meaning in all that we do.

How does the agency interact, engage and reward their direct care staff?

Respecting and supporting our staff isn’t just about ensuring high-quality care. It’s the right thing to do. After all, Direct Support Professionals are on the front lines of changing lives every day.
We also know that it’s a demanding job, and one that can’t be compromised by personal issues. That’s why we offer a menu of benefits for staff, through a traditional benefits plan and through EaRNed Benefits, and Employee Resource Network that provides success coaching, Getting Ahead in the Workplace classes, and Employee Sponsored Small Dollar Loans (EESDLs). Additionally, we offer bonuses that many other providers do not – rewarding employees for picking up shifts and going above-and-beyond their normal duties.

What are your homes like?

Whether you’re funded by traditional Medicaid or by a Medicaid Waiver, Sunshine offers several housing options, depending on your needs and preferences. Some are part of campus life, living at Sunshine’s beautiful 25-acre campus with its on-site barn, greenhouse, pool, gym, and boardwalk. Others prefer a family care home with several housemates. Still others live on their own or with a single roommate, assisted by Sunshine’s Supported Housing staff.
Before you make a decision about what kind of home you would like to request, ask yourself: Do I want roommates? How important are community involvement? Do I like to be on the go, or like to stay home and chill? Do I need 24-hour nursing staff?

Do you have a waiting list?

Yes and no. Let us explain.
Some people have added their names on our waiting list but they’re not ready to move in just yet because of their own circumstances. Others hope to find a new home more immediately, but our openings today may not be the right for them. After all, we try to find homes with housemates that share passions, similar activity levels, and the desire for housemates.
In other words, our focus is to make sure your home meet your needs the first time around.

What are the ages you support?

The short answer is all ages — from infants to senior citizens. Check out this story of Haskel, who has grown up here with the Sunshine family.
We make every effort to support people as they age in place in their homes, and that means some children have grown up with us and now are senior citizens. Others are with us temporarily, while medical issues are sorted out and families and friends make arrangements for more permanent homes.

Do families lose guardianship when their loved one moves to Sunshine?

No. We whole-heartedly believe in the independence of individuals and their loved ones, and that means dignity of choice from Day One. Alongside the individual receiving care and their families or guardians, Sunshine staff works as a team to determine the best care plans, whether they are temporary, transitional, or permanent.

How does Sunshine help when a person is leaving its care?

We provide both long-time and short-term support, depending on family circumstances. We’ve helped babies wean off ventilators so they can return to the home, and we’ve provided short-term care for families as they work toward getting more permanent supports in place. We’ve also worked with families to help a loved one transition to another provider. Each time, we create a comprehensive Discharge Book that includes important documents, care notes and upcoming appointments. Additionally, we like to include pictures and memories of that person’s time with Sunshine.
After all, we are forever touched by our time together, and we want those memories to last.

Does Sunshine offer temporary or respite care?

ProMedica Resource Guide

Community Resource Guide

Sunshine does not routinely provide respite care, so we encourage families to check out these two resources:

Here’s an on-line guide sponsored by the Ohio Association of County Boards, the Ohio Provider Resource Association, and the Ohio Dept. of Developmental Disabilities.

Additionally, ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital and SuperSchade’s Foundation has published a Community Resources Guide. Download a copy here.

 

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