EaRNed Success is the first of its kind Employer Resource Network (ERN) in Lucas County, Ohio designed specifically for employees at service agencies supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The goal of EaRNed Success, and all other ERNs, is to improve employee retention and to help agency staff to overcome barriers to maintaining employment that are often experienced by DSPs.
An ERN is an employer-based, human resources tool to help agencies anonymously connect their employees to needed resources so employees can maintain their employment. ERN combines training to agency staff in administrative, supervisory, and direct care roles with the utilization of a Success Coach and employer-sponsored small-dollar loans. Typically five to ten employers in a specific geographic area will partner together to implement an ERN.
What specific barriers can an ERN address?
Child care, transportation, mental health and substance abuse disorders, housing, utilities, public benefits, domestic disputes, financial debt relief. ERNs can also address specific regional issues by partnering with other local partners.
Visits made with the Success Coach can be voluntary or mandated but always remain confidential. Reports on the utilization of the ERN are made in aggregate form through a dashboard prepared by the Success Coach.
In the EaRNed Success ERN, six local developmental disabilities services agencies teamed up with the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The Success Coach is employed by the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, while the participating agencies purchase “shares” of the Success Coach’s time. The Success Coach divides their time across the participating agencies based on purchased shares. The Success Coach is available to work with any agency employee who may be experiencing a barrier to maintaining employment and helps connect the employee to local resources so employees can keep their job.
Start-up funding for EaRNed Success was provided by through a 2016 Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Healthier Buckeye Grant, which ended in December 2017. The project is now sustained by the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities and the participating providers. OPRA is actively seeking more funding to expand ERNs throughout the state. To learn more about the specifics of EaRNed Success, please contact Anita Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org).