Kencrest is an organization that offers health care services to persons with disabilities. It is a community agency that has served the locals for a long time. Over its history, it has been able to retain a high level; of discipline and ethical standards in how it handles its clients and this has established its brand as an effective health care provider. Today, the organization boasts a wide range of services with great professionalism within its workplace. This paper focuses on Kencrest Services in relation to information gathered after its visitation.
Description the physical features of the agency facility
The Kencrest Services is a facility located in Philadelphia that offers services to persons with physical and intellectual disabilities and autism. It serves persons of all ages ranging from young children to adults. The facility is located in a very serene environment with trees and natural grass growing on the well organized portions that are marked by pathways leading from the gate to different buildings. The trees offer a cool and relaxing atmosphere for any one even when the temperatures are a bit high. The breeze within the area is cool as a result of the naturalness of the surrounding. The pathways are leading from the gate to different destinations are clean and well maintained. They are properly lit during the night as evidenced by the security light bulbs that are placed at reasonable distances from each other. On the grass portions there are seats that are placed on different sections where people can sit down and enjoy the environment. The agency is located in the Eisenhardt Building of the Germantown Home. The pathway from the gate leads to this building which is the right hand side a few meters away. The building is on the right side and is named the Educational Court.
At the receptionist’s desk are several computers and other stationery equipments and documents that are decently organized. Adjacent to the receptionist desk is a small waiting room which also serves as a cafeteria for the workers within the Educational Court where the agency is housed. In this waiting room, there is a sofa that is used provide a rest to arriving guests. On the left side of the receptionist desk is a long corridor that leads to the training room which is also the largest room in the building. The room serves as the main resource center for the workers and there are all kinds of materials from which a worker can choose.
For those who use public transport, there are septa buses along the Germantown Avenue that are available anytime during the day. Those with personal or private means of transport can park their vehicles outside the Germantown Home gate where there is an ample parking space. The agency does not allow persons to access the Home with their vehicles. The Kencrest headquarters are located at 502 West Germantown Pike, Suite 200, Plymouth Meeting PA 19462.
The population/geographical areas served by the agency
The agency serves the region of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. Some programs are also available in Berks County, Lancaster County and Bridgeport area in Connecticut. Services for young children are available in Philadelphia, Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, and Montgomery County. In Delaware these services are available New Castle County. On the other hand, in Fairfield, New Castle, Sussex, and Kent Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties adult services are available. All these are run by Kencrest and the formalities are the same no matter the location as long as it is duly registered under Kencrest.
How was the agency created?
The history of this facility dates back to 1905 when it opened its first health clinic that served tuberculosis patients. In 1955, the agency then opened the first community based educational programs for children with intellectual disabilities. Other facilities that the agency has managed to open include family-style homes for people with intellectual disabilities, A Lifesharing Home, community based programs for preschool children with medical complications, residential service facility and Lynch Homes among others. The wide range of services the agency offers enables it to take care of patients from birth to adulthood and to the end of life. The agency has in its history ensured that no facilities are lacking that would cause the loss of a life.
The theoretical rational for the agency’s existence
The agency is well supported by the government and its transactions with the government are on a contractual basis. Through this partnership, the agency is expected to offer services to the residents at subsidized prices since the government considers the facility as a community based agency. A large percentage of the budget of the facility is funded by the government with the remaining part funded by willing donors and the funds generated from the sake of services to residents. Anne’s statement offers a more precise clue to this relationship. She says that the facility serves people with disabilities throughout their lifetime using various programs in order to meet the needs of the families. This is one of the contractual obligations the facility is expected to fulfill in regard to their engagement with the government.
Exterior and interior of the building
The location of the agency offices is a relatively short distance from the city of Philadelphia. On public transport, you will be dropped two blocks away from the Germantown Home where you can walk towards the Home.
The neighborhood and available transportation
The parking fee for those with private means of transport is $10 per hour but the area is relatively safe and there should be fewer worries about the safety of the car or whatever means of transport you park on the ample parking space within the area. Public transport is by means of septa buses that link people to different parts of the city. There are no limitations as to which route you will take. These buses will always provide the solution.
The rooms are not only spacious but also well aerated with many windows that ensure free flow of air making the whole environment serene. The building also harbors the administrator’s office and a sort where machines are kept. There is also a conference room that is purposely used for meetings by the staff and management as they meet with families. . It is secures by a perimeter wall and a gate. As you make your way towards the educational Court you will be able to see a building whose walls are painted white. On the opposite side of the Educational Court you get a view of very nice bells that also mark the most central part of the Germantown Home.
The agency is very quick and swift in its responses to cases. Once e the agency accepts a case, it ensures contact with the family within the first fourteen days after acceptance of threat particular case. The family is then expected to agree with the therapist on the meeting time and dates.
Day of the visit
On the agreed date, the family will need to be at the Educational Court and a meeting is held with the family members and the staff together with the therapist upon which the technicalities involving admission of the patient into the facility are agreed on. The family is also notified of any particular issues of concern and is provided with a contact link that they can use to contact the facility.
Since appointments are always scheduled, there is no waiting time for the clients and people are served within the highest level of diligence. The staff is always available to guide you through the different sections and provide as much help as needed. The appointments once made, are not delayed and in most case they are offered on the day requested by the client. The facility has enough well trained workers and thus, duties are delegated so as to ensure clients are not kept waiting for too long. Most of the areas where the families are expected to visit within the facility such as the conference room and the training room are neatly organized. The offices however seem a little bit dusty but the overall level of service delivery and organization was good.
The problems faced by the clients
The agency is located in a densely populated urban area. The levels of poverty are quite high considering the high rates of unemployment. These have made access to basic services and resources such as education, food clothing, shelter and health care hard to acquire. In the light of this, a big percentage of the population has been left exposed to social and psychological problems. Challenges of disability have made issues more complicated for affected families. Handling disability cases is a financially demanding task and these families do not possess the ability to handle them. Those affected have thus been subjected to conditions of desperation with most of them ending up malnutrition as they cannot fend for themselves and their relatives are hard pressed to support them fully.
The dimensions of the problem solving issues
The agency has therefore been at the forefront to address the challenges facing the disabled and their families. This has been achieved through the large network of social workers of the agency together with the supervisors who have in collaboration helped address these issues amicably. Establishing contacts with these families and taking them through the technicalities of the agency, the workers have been able to achieve a lot. The biggest challenge though has been taking the disabled through the transition program but the team work developed amongst the workers in the agency has been the strongest pillar on which this has been sorted out.
The agency person interviewed
Anne Andersen, an administrative Assistant with the facility provided an insightful interview during the visit. Her responsibilities include data entry of client and billing information. Anne describes her other responsibilities as producing of reports in collaboration with the IT department when such are required and attending management meetings. She is also responsible for coordinating meeting room schedules, ordering supplies, submitting work orders for technical and maintenance support. Her other important responsibility is answering phone directing calls and problem solving for clients and staff.
Services performed by the administrators and service staff
This diversity of the human resource network of the organization has been one of its key pillars. The agency has special instruction teachers, speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, social workers, hearing specialists and a psychologist within its ranks. According to Anne, this diversity of workforce has been crucial in helping the facility offer its services to the children and families in their homes. Kencrest has also been able to utilize this workforce to provide services for in daycares and preschool environment as Anne notes.
Types of activities/range of services in which the agency is involved
Anne explained that the agency performs its role even from outside its premises. “ and we work with children and families in their homes or wherever they are so we do work in some daycares and preschool environments.” This has ensured even less pressure on the facilities within the agency’s premises. During these outdoor services, the agency engages the families in health care awareness programs for persons with disabilities and therefore helping alleviate the extreme desperation that the disabled persons go through while at their homes. The agency also does ensure that apart from offering health and home care to the patients it facilitates them to integrate into the society by involving them in activities such as games and adventure trips.
In-take procedures and eligibility requirements for admission
Anne mentioned that for a child to be eligible for admission into the facility, they should be able to show at least a 25% developmental delay. The agency plan is to work with the families in such a way that their normal daily routines are not affected by the extra responsibility placed on them.
Delivery of service
According to Anne, the therapists and teachers meet with the families and compare their service plan with the expectations to develop a schedule that will be effective in all aspects and one that will not inconvenience the family members. Therapists and teachers work in close cooperation with service corianders outside the agency. These service corianders help coordinate the services for the children as well as create reliable for plans for the families.
Anne says that the families are inspired by the need to see their member achieving their highest potential after the end of the program. Due to the long success history associated with Kencrest, families are very optimistic about the outcomes of admissions into the facility.
Anne insisted that the agency is well involved in research and up to date with the world of technology to ensure that they provide families with the most effective ways. This has made Kencrest a household name in the society. It is a cultured that has brought the agency so much reputation during its existence.
How the agency is run
The agency is a well run organization and with a completely effective workforce that has adopted a team work attitude. This has reduced challenges and kept the workforce motivated. The past results also serve as great motivation for the organization. As Anne suggests, the agency has played a major role in research and it continuously does engage in research to ensure its services are up to date. This has been one of its strongest foundations of success.
Would you recommend sending students/clients to this agency?
Creative solutions to the problems faced by the agency
Despite this success, the agency has still some work to do especially for the community out there. The agency should become more proactive by engaging the society in projects and programs that are aimed at not only improving health acre but also alleviating poverty. The agency should partner with community based organizations within the area to involve residents in programs that will incorporate health awareness with tackling poverty to reduce the pressure on the society dependence on healthcare for disabled persons. These programs should be able to generate income for so city members involved and also offer basic commodities like water to the community. The society on the other hand should be able to manage the program in such a way that it generates enough income that can be used to expand its services.
On the other hand the government has been cutting the funding which has compromised the quality of services offered by the facility. According to Anne, this gradual reduction of finds has put a financial strain on the facility and considering the wide range of services that the facility offers, it has been very hard to cater for a growing population amidst a reduced budget. While this is a setback, the facility should look into other means of funding its budget. These measures should be internal rather than depending on external methods that will not offer stability in the long run. These measures should include streamlining the workforce to reduce the amount of funds that are channeled to wages and salaries. Some workers can multitask and such are the category that must be retained. Similarly, the facility should look to outsourcing for services that are very costly to maintain on a permanent basis. This measure should affect the specialized health care providers whose wage demands are too high. The facility can implement a policy that will place a salary bracket which must not be broken.
Over the years of its existence, Ken crest has been able to serve the surrounding population and beyond while also expanding its services. This has been made possible by the committed workforce and proper management. It has greatly benefited the local community directly and indirectly. Its strategic location is one of the main factors of its growth over time. Philadelphia has a high population and demography factors always do influence the existence of an organization. The decreased funding by the government in recent years has however affected its operations. This should not be the case though since Kencrest is currently a stable organization that can be able to implement policies that will ensure it maintains its quality of service at all costs.
Kencrest (2013). KenCrest: About Us – History. Retrieved November 19, 2013, from http://www. kencrest. org/about-us/History. htm