Bridges to Transition
Bridges is a collaboration between Clearwater Council of Governments, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), Ohio Association of County Boards (OACB) and the COG member County Boards of Developmental Disabilities. The Bridges to Transition Program provides assistance for transition aged youth (between the ages of 14-25) with the process of making the transitioning from school into the community workforce. Eligible individuals working with the Bridges to Transition program will receive guidance in creating an individualized employment plan and goal. The COG currently provides services in the following counties: Crawford, Seneca, and Wyandot.
The COG continues to partner with the Ohio Self Determination Association (OSDA) to increase leadership skills in self-advocacy. All nine (9) COG member counties continue to have well established self-advocacy groups. The groups meet regularly and continue to develop their leadership and advocacy skills. In addition, all nine (9) counties have OSDA Project STIR graduates. The COG assists on a regular basis with state-wide Project STIR trainings and initiatives.
Human Rights Committee (HRC)
The Ohio Administrative Code requires every restrictive and/or aversive measure that is in a service plan be reviewed by a committee of individuals comprised of all of the stakeholders in the system. The COG provides this service to many of the member counties through the coordination of the COG HRC committee. The Committee is comprised of two groups: North and South. Both groups have representation by each county board, self-advocates, family members and other community professionals.
The COG also conducts Pre-Admission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR), when requested, for its member counties. A PASRR is completed when an individual is being considered for admission into a nursing facility. Every individual referred for care in a Medicaid licensed NF is required to have a PASRR Level I screening performed). The screening looks for indicators that a person may have an intellectual disability or related condition, or a serious mental illness. If indicators are found, is assessed further to determine the best setting to meet the person’s needs and to ensure that individuals are not inappropriately placed in a nursing facility for long term care.
The Clearwater COG conducts Enhanced Monitoring Reviews, Provider Compliance Reviews, Medication Administration Quality Assurance/Health Related reviews, and Mock Accreditation Reviews. The COG provides coaching support to assist providers and county boards with all compliance processes.
Service Excellence Summary (SES)
A Service Excellence Summary involves a home visit by a Service Excellence Specialist and an additional visit to day services, as needed. The Service Excellence Specialist interviews the individual receiving supports to see how things are going with his/her services and supports. Participants can opt to have a Contracted Liaison accompany the SES to the interview. Reports are developed to share with providers and SSA’s at the respected County Board on what is going well and any areas of needed improvement. An annual report of data from all of the COG counties is compiled and shared to review progress towards systems improvements.
Contracted Service Excellence Liaisons
As part of the enhanced monitoring process, the COG believes it is important to involve stakeholders in the process. The COG contracts with self-advocates or family members of individuals receiving supports from member county boards, to be Service Excellence Liaisons. Liaisons are available as support and comfort for individuals and families during home visits and interviews with our Service Excellence Specialists.
Clearwater COG offers benefits coordination and analysis services. This service is available to individuals and their families. BA provides information to individuals and their families about the impact of earning wages on public assistance programs such as SSDI, SSI, Medicaid/ Medicare, Medicaid buy-in, etc. Benefit coordination could be linking families with local and state resources to obtain public assistance benefits.
The COG provides both online and in-person training to member county boards of DD, providers, individuals, and community members. Trainings include a broad range of topics to support member needs. Trainings include SSA Basics, Person Centered Planning, Asset Based Community Development/Community Integration, PATHS/MAPS, Good Life, Annual Provider Training, and many others.
Investigative Agents (IA)
The COG maintains a team of investigative agents to complete Major Unusual Incident (MUI) investigations, provides back-up IA services, and any other support and technical assistance to member counties.
The COG also provides payee services in Ottawa County. As a representative payee, the COG receives social security money on behalf of individuals that are unable of managing their own benefits. The COG will use the social security money to pay for the individual’s current needs including housing and utilities, food, medical expenses, personal care items and clothing. If there is money remaining, the individual may use this money for personal spending.
The Clearwater COG provides supports to both agency and independent providers through various programming. The COG maintains a provider pool to enhance the free choice of provider process. The COG also provides annual training to small and independent providers, quarterly provider meetings, and technical assistance, as needed.
Human Resources Services
The COG shares human resources services with Erie and Huron Counties. The Human Resource Coordinator provides daily human resource services, monthly management trainings, assistance with processing county board staff certifications, and more.