Sunny Oaks, Inc. (SOI) is a values-based community provider of high quality, person-centered, positive supports that include residential, and supported living services for eligible adult persons experiencing developmental disability in both Marion and Polk counties.
Sunny Oaks, Inc. (SOI) supports opportunities for all customers to have “exercised authority and responsibility” over one’s “life path” resulting in new life skills, meaningful relationships of one’s own choosing, fulfillment of expanded dreams and goals, independence and interdependence, and, mostly, individually defined happiness and success, while focusing diligently on the “allies” that make the highest quality supports possible.
Sunny Oaks, Inc. (SOI), through “allyship”, living our mission, vision, values, and communication principles and through the dedication of all our employees and all our stakeholders, strives to be mindful and heartfelt in creating warm, safer, caring “integrated” environments and activities that meet the needs of the customer(s) while still being both operationally and fiscally responsible.
Sunny Oaks, Inc. (SOI) envisions a world where SOI is a provider of choice and where people “are highly regarded, able to access more than adequate resources, have control over one’s own life path, and are supported by well compensated and well-trained, proactive, person centered staff”.
Furthermore and to more fully elaborate, Sunny Oaks, Inc. (SOI) envisions a world where SOI is a provider of choice and where people:
Are highly regarded, valued, respected and appreciated for one’s opinions, voice, privacy, uniqueness, meaningful relationships of choice, families, culture, life experience, goals, dreams and desire for community integration and inclusion;
Are able to access more than “adequate” resources, including technology and equipment to assist the person to achieve maximum potential in communication, adaptability, mobility, exercise, finances, relationship, activities of one’s own desire and design, interdependence and independence, integration and inclusion in the community;
Are provided, in a manner that best suits each unique person, the same opportunities as anyone else, including support in information, education, training, skills and activities that likely lead to being more included, independent, self-sufficient, safer, healthy, happy, and more likely to be employed in a “real job” in an integrated environment in the community;
Are having control over one’s own life, including understanding one’s rights and responsibilities, where one lives, whom one lives with, whether one has a pet or a favorite ball of string or not, how and when one’s activities (including those of the person’s own desire and design) are scheduled and facilitated, one’s food from selecting to planning and preparing, having control over one’s living space and input in decorating it, and understanding one’s choices of available services and providers through supported networking and partnership in and with the community; And,
Are supported by well compensated and well-trained, proactive, person centered staff with the people’s best overall interests at heart, that encourage self confidence, assist in building higher self-esteem, understand that mistakes are a means for learning, and promote useful community-based skills, including a very high frequency of community integration and inclusion.
We believe in access to opportunities and options. Often times this may mean having “more” resources, “more” finances, “more” things and “more” people available to make “access” a reality. We will support people in the opportunity to use technology, to have access to a variety of living (24 hour residential, supported living and in-home comprehensive) and employment options, to be part of upcoming events in the community, to frequently explore everyday life in the community, having sources of information and communication and a variety of media, classes and trainings in things that matter today such as keyboarding and computer classes, as well as access to things that might help with dreams and goals. Access, involvement and participation of customers to all of Sunny Oaks, Inc. (SOI) from methods of continual input to decision making via work groups, committees and the Board will be important in empowering customers. Access for employees will be a powerful consideration as SOI moves forward to meet the needs of customers in a time when our systems are rapidly changing and evolving. SOI will look seriously at all access opportunities and options.
We recognize each person’s right and need to make choices about their lives. We realize the value of informed choice that includes dignity of risk. We will support each other in identifying, expressing and honoring choices. We will assist people with good information and the pros and cons of choices, to expand choices, to have specific choice around food, to choose when to go to bed and get up, to choose clothing and TV shows to watch or music to listen to, to choose where to live and who to live with, and to have a job and career of their choosing. At the very least, when offering choices, we will offer three things (i.e. this, that or something else).
We believe communication is an essential component in providing supports and working together. We will listen well and respond accordingly so customers feel heard and are more likely to express themselves assertively. Communication should be assertive, consistent in all forms, and founded in the shared knowledge of each other, a professional supportive relationship, gracious honesty, mindfulness, and mutual respect. “Good, Useful, and True” a quote by Socrates should set the standard for communication. Communication should also be utilized well to resolve conflicts, avoid conflicts and provide alternatives to addressing issues or concerns. Additionally, we will use technology from augmented equipment to Skype, Facetime, Facebook or other social media to enhance communication where needed and where possible. We will attempt to expand our skill sets in a variety of forms of communication and different languages (i.e. Spanish, Braille, ASL, utilization of interpreters and technological augmented communication), to include enhancing our cultural awareness as this knowledge greatly impacts communication
We recognize the importance for all people to dream. We are here to know peoples’ dreams and assist people in achieving those dreams. We are dedicated to helping the people we support in identifying those dreams without limitations and strive to help them achieve their goals through compassion and understanding and assistance in removing barriers to a person’s dreams. We are more than willing to think and act outside of the box, including help the person to do the same. We will help with opportunity, exposure to new and different things, teaching new skills, helping to find necessary resources, and honoring dreams from more family visits, to frequent fishing trips and vacations, to more hamburgers, to BIG and small dreams alike without limitation, to helping a person with a bucket list, to discovering and finding love, to retiring without being financially depleted.
We believe people have the right to quiet contemplation, to down time, to be free of supports at times, and the freedom to come and go as one pleases. Persons take walks, loaf, sleep in, leave, and/or go on a drive to be away from others, including peers and support persons. Individual customers may desire moments free from their needed supports and their support persons. We will strive to safely provide preferred moments of freedom from supports and unneeded documentation as agreed and approved by both the person and their individual support plan (ISP) team. Additionally, individual customers have the freedom to choose, to make informed choices, to be free of coercion or constraint in choice or action or inaction, to have technology and needed equipment, to have the authority, autonomy and independence to exercise freedom, and to learn from mistakes. We also know that some freedom from supports comes with a need for new skills, new knowledge, including help with “street smarts”, street safety, stranger safety, frequent training(s), confidence, safety nets, daily living skills and a sense of community and responsibility. We will support people in learning what is needed to maximize freedom.
Partnership & Networking
We are committed to broadening our connections, for increasing integration and inclusion and employment by developing partnerships within our agency, between our programs, with other agencies and outside persons, including volunteers. Networking, creativity and sharing resources can lead to overcoming perceived barriers to our values, vision, mission and personal vision. We will utilize “intensive teams” and more frequent supports from people and systems, including members of the person’s individual support plan (ISP) team, to share and impart our skills and knowledge and to learn from the person we support, family and friends. We will use technology where possible to enhance partnership and networking, as well as using technology to enhance our connections to others as we partner and network.
We believe that relationships between people and the community are a basic element of humanity. We embrace the philosophy that people need and have the right to meaningful relationships. We support and pursue these relationships alongside the person as defined by each person. We will always respect that it is our customer’s family or friend, and he or she will determine the boundaries of the bond. We have and will continue to empower the people we support to have a voice in all relationships. We are aware that relationships come in a variety of unique forms, including relationship with pets and therapy animals. By providing supports and broadening our connections, it will enhance the opportunities for relationship to grow. We will support the person in making new connections and choosing new relationships, while maintaining current and long-term relationships. We recognize fully that each person has the right to have friends and family visit at anytime. And, thus, our environments will be inviting, friendly and a place that the person would be proud to share with their family, friends and/or community partners. Finally, we will assist people with technology, such as Facetime or Skype or Facebook or TTDY or other communication forms, to enhance communication, social connections and relationship.
Respect as Equals
We believe all people should have the power to control one’s own life to the fullest potential. We recognize each person’s right and need to make choices. We will strive to support people to identify and express those choices. We realize the value of informed choices that include dignity of risk. We also believe in inclusion, integration and participation in the community to the degree desired by the person. We support a person’s authority, autonomy, and privacy in all interactions. We will, in all our interactions, engage with the person as we would with anyone else, from a friendly and supportive adult-to-adult approach that respects and empowers the person. We will talk to the person and not around the person or as if the person is not present. We will knock on doors to the person’s house, to the person’s room, and we will ask permission to enter, for one example. We must respect a person’s space, the person’s presence or absence, the person’s dreams and goals, and realize we are the guests and we are the ones that must ask for permission and be on our best behavior.
We strive to provide an environment that is comfortable, safe, accessible and free of hazards while placing the highest regard on the persons’ interests and tastes. We will continue to assess and work toward reducing potential hazards as well as providing more than adequate training and well maintained equipment. We will involve both support staff and customers in our safety committees. We are and will continue to be actively involved in reducing risks and maintaining safer environments. We will attempt to keep abreast of new and different products, technology and training staff and customers in areas that will enhance physical and emotional environmental safety.
Principles of Communication
These principles of communication should not be interpreted in any manner to constrict a person’s right to communicate, complain, file a grievance or otherwise express dissatisfaction with SOI as a company or its services. SOI has a non-retaliation policy.
- I accept responsibility for my actions;
- I will talk with you directly when I have an issue or concern;
- I will participate in seeking alternatives that address issues that concern me;
- I will act on the belief that human errors are opportunities for growth through learning;
- I agree to use gracious honesty when I share information and knowledge;
- My interactions will be respectful;
- I trust that there will be enough for each of us, if we truly express our needs;
- I accept others as they are and trust that they will do the same with me;
- I will value the uniqueness of all people;
- I will share information only when it is “Good, Useful, and True” and
- I will not allow myself to take part in sharing information that is not “Good, Useful, and True”; And,
- I will seek to understand before I seek to be understood.