Maria Villanueva Social Work 180 Macro Practice
Since 1976, Resources for Independence, Central Valley (RICV) has worked with consumers to promote their independence in the community. RICV's service area includes the five counties of Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Madera and Merced. By charter, at least 51 percent of employees at RICV have disabilities, as does 51 percent of the center’s board of directors. This underscores the importance of consumer control in RICV. It is also important to note that RICV does not operate any type of residential facility. RICV is not assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, a common misconception. Instead, the RICV staff direct their efforts toward the goal of freeing people with disabilities from institutional living, while educating the community on accessibility issues. With the proper support system from the community, people with disabilities can live where they choose and pursue their dreams just as any other individual does. It used to be Project of California Association of the Physically Handicapped (CAPH), then Center for Independent Living (CIL), and now it is Resources for independence Central Valley. RICV
“ Encouraging People with Disabilities to be in control of their lives and to live more independently through a diverse range of choices and opportunities.”
The agency provides assistance through many programs and services to People with disabilities in different areas. There are services provided to individuals in high schools, nursing facilities, those who live independently, and to those who need assistance with transportation.
All of these programs are designed to assist and to meet each individual’s needs. Each specializes in specific areas.
For example, there are some consumers that need assistance with living and transportation; in this case the Independent Living Specialists would guide them. They would assist by providing housing services as well as transportation forms available for the consumer.
Another example would be BRIDGES- designed to assist high school students with physical or learning disabilities transition into the more complex working world, educational environment, and/or adulthood. (web RICV).
Transportation: unable to serve clients in rural areas because they do not have adequate transportation to reach the office, and there is not enough staff members to make regular home visits.
Client Funding: The majority of clients rely on public assistance to survive. The average client receives $880 in aid from SSI, the problem is finding affordable housing that will fit into the client’s budget.
Budget Cuts: Cut in State Funding, Salary cuts, change in eligibility requirements.
Recession: Several agencies have closed down, causing more clients to visit RICV, but this agency has the same funding.
It is also hard to contact other agencies or programs because of furlough days, it is closed on Fridays and some programs have been cut.
RICV staff provides services to all 5 counties and partnered with many different branches to provide more services to the targeted population.
The Program receives grants of competency training. They have consultants to provided training to their staff through workshops and seminars. RICV staff are required to take an ADA online course training. On adabasics.org and get certificate.
The agency has an American Sign Language Interpreter on staff.
They offer packets and brochures in English, Spanish, and Hmong.
The staff also visits Nursing Homes, Schools, and or Hospitals to assist consumers transition out from a current unpleasant situation.
CCT (California Transition Program) staff mostly visit Nursing Facilities, and or Apartment Complexes, and BRIDGES ( works with high school students) staff visit High schools, or they do home visits in some occasions.
Reyes Sandoval- Independent Living Specialist Vanessa Luna- CCT Program http://www.ricv.org/staff/index.html
The staff at the agency do whatever possible to transition consumers into independent living if the staff feels the consumer is ready after being evaluated. However, they are limited to certain services.
The agency’s goal is to expand to other counties, but they do not have enough staff.
They would also like to reach out to the Southeast Asian Community, and to other families who have to care for a disabled family member and feel they are on their own
At the beginning of each intake interview or when a staff member first meets with a client, the client is given a grievance form to inform them of their rights through the agency.
The client has the right to write a letter to the Disability Rights of CA act.
The HIPAA law is an essential part of the CCT program that makes part of the agency because it provides full confidentiality when it comes to medical records; this allows the staff to make a positive relationship of trust with the consumer.
Confidentiality is important; the staff is not to disclose any personal information to other non-involved staff.
RICV is continually changing peoples’ lives by assisting the targeted community live more independently. Nick, Martha, Suzie, and consumer at RICV 34 th Annual Dinner http://www.ricv.org/about.html
Resources for Independence Central Valley (2010). Web. www.ricv.org California State University, Fresno. Henry Madden Library. October 1, 2010. Soto, Jimmie (2010). Program Director. Personal Communication. Resources for Independence Central Valley Sandoval, Reyes (2010). Independent Living Specialist. Personal Communication. Resources for Independence Central Valley.