Health & Education

Adult Foster Care passes consecutive relicensing reviews with zero findings

By Danielle Frost

Passing an annual state inspection with zero findings in 293 categories is considered a difficult task for those who run adult foster care homes in Oregon since one missed signature on a patient chart is sufficient to be found out of compliance.

When Tribal Adult Foster Care Director Peggy Shaver learned her team had gone two consecutive years with zero findings – a feat that has never been

accomplished before at the Tribe – she was thrilled.

“This is the result of an effort of all of our caregivers,” Shaver said. “It’s a big group effort.”

Shaver said it isn’t merely employees who work at Adult Foster Care, but also those in Facilities, Elders Activity Center, Governance Center and the Health & Wellness Center.

“What is commendable about this is when you are audited, they really look (at every detail) because they don’t want to feel the job isn’t being done,” Shaver said.

Relicensing inspections are conducted by the Oregon Department of Human Services. The on-site portion of an audit takes a full day. Auditors inspect facility records, caregiver records, resident records, facility safety and standards, and operational standards.

“They check everything, from whether we have a three-day water supply for each resident to the medication closet being locked to caregivers signing off each time they give a medication,” Shaver said. “It is the exception to the rule to not have a finding.”

Oregon Department of Human Services Communication Officer Elisa Williams said that between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2018, only 250 of the 1,055 adult foster care homes statewide had zero citations. The data doesn’t include homes in Multnomah County, which are regulated by the county.

Shaver has been working at Grand Ronde Adult Foster Care for 2.5 years. She said her favorite part of the job is participating in activities with residents.

“It’s fun because we all come together and have a good time,” she said. “For example, we go to movie day at the library and have popcorn, or out to lunch and shopping. It is just fun to do activities with them.”

Other highlights are when Tribal Librarian Marion Mercier visits and reads to the residents, when the preschool students sing traditional songs in Chinuk Wawa and daily lunch deliveries from Nutrition Program Manager Kristy Criss-Lawson.

“I love that about working out here,” Shaver said. “This community really does take care of its Elders. Kelly Rowe (Health Services executive director) is very supportive of our efforts. So is (general manager) David Fullerton.”

Adult Foster Care includes two lodges, Cougar and Elk, which provide services for up to 10 people. Currently, three residents are being cared for and 19 full- and part-time employees work at the lodges.

Rowe said caregivers and administration of the Adult Foster Care lodges have done an outstanding job taking care of Tribal Elders while following state regulatory standards. 

“The staff has passed annual inspection without any findings for two consecutive years, which was not accomplished before,” she said. “Peggy and the staff have created an exceptional living environment for our Elders who need some assistance with their activities of daily living while ensuring the safety and security of the residents. I’m so thankful for their service and dedication to our Tribe.”

Shaver is quick to direct the praise away from herself.

“I’m actually kind of embarrassed to be recognized here,” she said. “This is not my success, it is the success of a community.”

Adult Foster Care Senior Administrative Assistant Candi Buswell began working at her job at approximately the same time Shaver did.

“I think we work really well together,” Buswell said. “We have implemented everything that needed to be done. My part in this is keeping records current for our employees and making sure they have a background check. Everyone has responded well to Peggy here. She has been awesome for AFC and made good changes among the staff.”

One of the biggest changes was making employees’ schedules consistent.

“This really helped in attracting quality people to work here,” Buswell said.