Friday, August 29, 2008

The Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh Partners with CCAC and Other Providers on Direct Support Professional Education Program

The Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, in partnership with CCAC and other providers of intellectual disability services, will offer an eight-week training program at CCAC’s Allegheny campus, beginning October 6th, 2008, for individuals who aspire to work with persons with intellectual disabilities in a residential community setting (group home). The course will be provided free-of-charge to initial participants and is supported by a $45,000 grant from FISA Foundation. According to Lorraine Wagner, Executive Director of the Emmaus Community, the program “aims to target career minded candidates who are empty nesters, high school graduates, unemployed, single parents, or currently employed but seeking a more fulfilling line of work.”

Course participants will receive an introduction to the field, including an overview of the history of mental retardation and the ethics and values that impact on the work of Direct Support Professionals. Other training will include job responsibilities, communication skills, state and county regulations, and the required medication administration and CPR/First Aid certifications. All participants will complete an on-site practicum with local providers, where they will have the opportunity to work first-hand with individuals with intellectual disabilities. Upon successful completion of the program, a certificate will be awarded, and graduates will attend a job fair where they can meet representatives from local intellectual disability service agencies.

Wagner emphasizes that “this unique training program will allow participants to enter into a career in the Direct Support field as true professionals, with all of the information and training that is crucial to providing the highest quality of care.” Wagner says “the program is designed to provide not only a textbook knowledge of Direct Support, but face-to-face experiences. Graduates will have a better understanding of the needs of people with intellectual disabilities and the importance of this very rewarding work.” For more information, contact Karen Jacobsen at 412-381-0277. The deadline for applications to the program is September 19, 2008.

About Emmaus:
Emmaus is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization located in Pittsburgh’s South Side which provides permanent homes and care for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For a visit to Emmaus, to share the news of these services with the community in your articles and stories, please contact Emmaus at 412-381-0277

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