Council Gives Families Hope
When I first met with members of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Council for Adult Foster Care in August to gather information, it was like working with a clean slate.
My job was to listen to the dozen or so Council members that day and come away with an understanding of what the organization’s function has been since the mid-1970s so that Janice and I could develop content for its new website.
And when I say new, I don’t mean an update to an existing site. I mean brand, spanking new. As in no site has existed since a basic one was taken down about nine years ago.
It’s pretty amazing in this day and age to operate a business, agency, organization or any kind of group without an Internet presence. But the fact that the Council has over the years ably and seamlessly offered professional support to more than 80 state agencies that serve seniors and persons with disabilities who need personal care is a testament to its dedication and effective networking skills. A presence on Facebook for the past two years has also helped spread the word.
So far, more than 9,000 clients have been served as Adult Foster Care continues to transform lives.
Council member agencies are interested in helping families who want to keep a loved one at home instead of in a nursing home or some other such facility. The agencies also work to match people who have care needs with a non-related caregiver, to create a new home living situation.
The Massachusetts Council for Adult Foster Care is there to guide not only the agencies but families as well. It interprets and implements a maze of state regulations—no easy task. The group also develops best practices and serves as an advocate for funding that is fair and realistic for qualified caregivers.
Lisa Prince has been a driving force behind the Council. Besides her job as Adult Foster Care program director at Tri-Valley, Inc., in Dudley, Lisa has worked with the Council for more than 16 years, and has served as its president for the last 10 years. She’s the kind of dedicated person an organization needs to keep it going.
But she is not alone. As I sat at that table, I could hear the passion in the voices of the other members. They were quick to explain who they serve and why. And by the way, all of them serve on the Board voluntarily.
On the new website, Lisa explains that “Consumers and caregivers are provided with ongoing support by Adult Foster Care nurses and care managers who visit in the home on a regular basis. While the program has changed and adapted over the years, this premise still holds true.”
The goal of the website is to drive the public and potential agencies to it to gain information. But ultimately, the Council wants you to speak with a human being who can allay your fears and provide you with sensible, easy-to-understand information in a complex world of caring for loved ones.
If I ever have a loved in need of care at home, the Massachusetts Council for Adult Foster Care will likely be my first call.