In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Oriza Hernandez California State University, Fresno
IHSS and Social Justice in the Local Context
In Home Supportive Services empowers their recipients whether they are disabled, blind or aged to decide for themselves if they want to remain within their homes. The agency enables recipients to be independent with choices concerning them.
If the recipients lack the necessary resources to remain safely within their homes IHSS seeks to provide their recipients within the Fresno County area with the necessary resources to enable them to maintain a good quality of life by referring them to local services that can provide them with resources that they are currently deprived of.
Some of the resources that IHSS refers their clients to are agencies that provide bi-weekly meals, delivery of diapers, wheelchairs, hospital beds, catholic-charities, paramedical services, linkage to care provider, etc.
IHSS Organizational Chart Note* The supervisors are assigned to a unit of social workers shown in the order they are named. Each unit ranges from 10-11 social work practitioners.
Community Context of IHSS
In Home Supportive Services provides support throughout the County of Fresno. Including both metro and rural areas. The following are some of the areas where services are provided.
Metro areas include:
Rural areas include:
Community Context Cont.
Fresno County is a very diverse community, therefore, the community served within In Home Supportive Services is very diverse as well.
Besides providing services to eligible blind, aged and disabled; there are various sub-communities that we serve within this context.
For example: some of the individuals who receive services through In Home Supportive Services are ethnically diverse, vary within age, gender, sexuality, politics, health, religion, socio-economics, needs, etc.
Community Context Cont.
Due to the wide range of populations served through IHSS, besides state and federal funding, IHSS works alongside other agencies which enhances its ability to provide the necessary resources to their recipients.
Some of the community resources that IHSS has linkage to are the following:
Fresno-Madera Area Agency on Aging (FMAAA)
Adult Protective Services
Recreation Centers for the elderly, disabled, and blind.
Mental Health Agencies
Center for Independent Living
Needs Addressed Through In Home Supportive Services
Personal & Paramedical Services
Recipients of IHSS can also receive personal and paramedical services.
Personal Services Include:
Dressing, diaper/pad changes, bathing, bowel and bladder care, menstrual care, etc.
Whereas Paramedical Services Include:
Glucose checks, Insulin injections, adjusting and cleaning of medical supplies such as: masks, tubes, nebulizers, etc.
Individuals who are eligible can receive domestic services such as:
Housecleaning, laundry, meal preparation, and grocery shopping.
Mission and Aims of IHSS
The In- Home Supportive Services program provides supportive services to persons who are aged, blind, or disabled and are unable to perform the activities of daily living in order to live safely and independently in their own homes.
The aims of In- Home Supportive Services are those of being able to provide the necessary services to our recipients through enabling them to be the employer of their care providers. This in turn allows the recipients who are at risk of out of home placement to remain within their homes safely by providing them with independence of choosing who their care provider will be, keeping record of the hours in which the care provider is assisting them, and firing the care provider if he/she does not fulfill the tasks that they need help with.
Furthermore the aim of IHSS is to make sure that our recipients are well cared for, that their needs are being met, and that no harm is being done to them.
IHSS Agency Practices
The agency practices are the following:
Home visit assessments
Reassessments/ re-certification visits
“ I” Day
Submitting data into the agencies computer programs known as MEDS and CMIPS.
Filing paperwork within the recipients cases
Setting up appointment dates with recipients and mailing out medical forms.
Providing recipients with information about the program and other resources.
Bi-weekly unit meetings
Intake, Home Visit, and Re-certification visits all seek to determine the needs of our recipients to enhance the services that we provide them with.
For example: one recipient may need more time for bathing as well as bowel and bladder care whereas, another recipient may need more time in areas of ambulation and meal preparation because of a special diet they are following.
“ I” Day: In which some social workers are chosen to answer phone-calls throughout the day in which recipients call regarding any changes concerning themselves, their care providers, or questions/concerns they may have.
Unit Meetings: Where the supervisor and their assigned unit of social workers meet to address current issues/questions/concerns.
Significance of IHSS
As mentioned before IHSS seeks to enhance the quality of life of their recipients by providing them with the opportunity to make decisions about whether they would like to remain within their homes. Being blind, aged or disabled should not prevent them from being able to make choices on their own. Therefore the significance of IHSS is that it wants to empower their recipients to be independent just like other individuals.
In terms of Social Work Values and human rights IHSS values their recipients well-being, that they are being taken care of by their care provider, that no harm is being done to them, and that their quality of life is enhanced within their own homes. As for human rights, the fact that IHSS seeks to help their recipients to independently choose whether they want to remain within their homes is the main human right they would like the recipients to have. Overall the agency would like their recipients to remain within their homes as long as they are remaining their safely.
Who Is Eligible and Current Recipients Within IHSS
Any California resident is eligible for IHSS if they:
Are SSI/SSP or Medi-Cal eligible.
Are living in their own homes.
Are blind, disabled or 65 years of age or older.
Are unable to live safely at home without care and,
Meet certain financial requirements.
Current Recipients within IHSS are the following:
*IHSS currently has around 12,000 recipients in total.