Authors Posts by Carol Ferenz

Carol Ferenz


ODP Announcement 23-032 announces three half-day virtual training sessions regarding implementation of the Residential Individual Support Plans (ISP) Staffing approach for Administrative Entity (AE) staff. The pre-requisite requirements and training dates are available on MyODP.

The sessions are geared toward AE staff and supervisory staff who routinely review and approve ISPs. The training focuses on AE expectations and ensuring consistent, statewide implementation of the Residential ISP Staffing approach.

Please review the communication for complete information.

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ODP Announcement 23-031 announces the release of Resource Accounts now available online. The resource accounts are a listing of email accounts created to contact specific Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) departments by email, which can directly address questions or issues that may arise through the use of various ODP services. Please review the communication for how to access these accounts.

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What is TRAIN? Individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism are at an increased risk of experiencing trauma; however, few therapists are skilled in both trauma and ID/A support. To bridge this gap, psychologists with the ASERT team created the TRAIN program that focuses on:

  • Trauma-focused mental healthcare;
  • Types and prevalence of trauma;
  • Disclosures of abuse;
  • Ethical principles of reporting abuse;
  • Expressions of trauma;
  • Assessing trauma and trauma-focused interviews;
  • Psychoeducation;
  • Trauma response management strategies;
  • Trauma processing; and
  • Resiliency and self-care.

Course structure: 12 weeks in total, comprised of 3 modules that are each 4 weeks long.
The first three weeks are self-paced learning courses that are assigned through the online Learning Management System. The fourth week of each module is an hour and a half interactive discussion with the other group members and instructors. These live sessions are required and are held from 9:00 am – 10:30 am on the following dates:

  • 4/11: Pre-training live session;
  • 5/9: Module 1 live session;
  • 6/13: Module 2 live session; and
  • 7/11: Module 3 live session.

Target audience: Therapists, counselors, clinical social workers; individuals who have experience working with individuals who are neurodivergent (intellectual disabilities/autism); individuals who currently are licensed and provide 1:1 therapy sessions to clients.

Case consultations: After the initial 12 weeks, there is a short break followed by a second 12-week session that consists of weekly one-hour case consultations. Each participant is expected to present a case from a current patient and receive feedback/information from other participants and the instructors. Participants need to join at least 6 of the 12 weekly case consultation calls, although it’s encouraged to attend all. If you are not currently seeing patients or are not in a capacity to present any cases, this may not be the right program for you.

Cost and Continuing Education (CE) Credits: It is free to participate, and if you complete the entire program, you will receive 13.5 CE credits through the NBCC.

If you believe this program is appropriate for you and can commit to the requirements, please send an email to Aid in PA. Availability is based on a first come, first serve basis, so don’t delay! Limited spots remain for the next cohort. Also, if you are unable participate this spring due to other commitments but would still be interested in doing it for Fall 2023, please email.

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Direct Care Workers (DCWs) are invited to this FREE conference that provides multiple training sessions to enhance their skills. Details about the event are below:

Date: April 21–22, 2023

12:00 pm – 7:00 pm on April 21
8:00 am – 4:30 pm on April 22

Hershey Lodge
325 University Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Sponsored by the Center for Independent Living of Central PA (CILCP) with grant funds from the PA Department of Labor and Industry. For more information, call 717-731-1900, ext. 212, or visit the DCW Conference website.

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What is Long COVID?

Most of the time when people get COVID-19, they get better within a couple weeks. But sometimes, people who had COVID-19 continue to experience new or ongoing symptoms for a month or even longer. This is considered long COVID-19.

Still Coughing After COVID-19?

Cough is one of the most common presenting symptoms of COVID-19, along with fever and loss of taste and smell. Cough is the second most common persistent symptom after having the COVID-19 infection, followed by fatigue. The cough can persist for weeks or months after the infection. The stigma associated with coughing has magnified during the pandemic. The American Lung Association notes, “The most common symptom that signifies healing is a lingering cough because coughing is your lung’s way of sweeping out dead cells.”

Ways to Help Control Your Cough?

  • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking small amounts of liquid during the day.
  • Soothe your throat by drinking warm liquids such as tea with lemon and honey.
  • Suck on throat sweets if you feel yourself about to cough (you can buy sugar free options).
  • Blow your nose if you have a runny nose (try not to sniff).

One thing that can help with your recovery is increasing blood flow into the lungs by exercising your lungs. Start with gentle physical exercise like walking or biking, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of the activity. It’s always a good idea to contact your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

PCHC offers COVID-19 updates and resources on our website. Visit here for more information.

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) recently shared a One Page Reference for Supports Coordination (SC) Billing for Cross-Systems Meetings. The reference document was developed to help Supports Coordinators in determining when to bill for a multi-agency meeting. If the SC facilitates the meeting, it is a billable activity. If the SC is not the facilitator of the meeting but provides information about resources or ODP services in order to better serve the individual and their support needs for more than 15 minutes, they can bill for the time that they were providing information.