Potential Place Society is accredited throught the International Center For Clubhouse Development (ICCD)which is based out of New York City.
They are the Mental Hralth Consultants to the UNITED NATIONS.
Currently we are scheduled for our third Accreditation this year. We have been previously accrediated in both 2003 and 2006.
Here is our most recent Self Study that explains what we are doing presently. This was developed by all members and staff as well as the board of directors in the fall of 2011.
POTENTIAL PLACE CERTIFICATION SELF-STUDY
Name of Clubhouse: Potential Place
Clubhouse address: 110-999 8th St. SW, T2R-1J5
Date of Certification Visit:
Faculty Team: Andrew and David from Fountain House
Date Self-Study document completed: APRIL 2011
(Current is repesents by Brackets)
Age of Clubhouse: 14 years (16 years)
The administrative structure of Clubhouse: Freestanding
Current Clubhouse Director: John Rook (Frank Kelton)
Clubhouse annual budget: $1.3 Million
Total Membership since opening: 1393
Current Active Membership: 235
daily attendance: 20-30 (30-40)
work-ordered day attendance: 24 (38)
Number of staff (including director): 6.6 (5) front line staff,
3 administrative staff,
3 others (Work in another program offsite) (no longer operating)
Number of work units: Two (plus (YAOP)Young Adults of Potential Place) program
In preparation for your upcoming certification visit, please review the most recent ICCD Survey/Profile that you have submitted to the ICCD Program for Clubhouse Research. If there have been changes in any area that is relevant to your certification visit, use this space to provide us with the most current information available:
Describe the process the Clubhouse used to prepare this Self-Study:
We used our colleague development meeting time each week to go through each group of standards using three questions:
1. What is the intent behind these standards?
2. What are we doing well with these standards?
3. What could we do better?
A note taker was present and taking notes of our discussion. Later, another meeting with smaller groups of colleagues (8-10) was held to go over each of the specific self-study questions based on the earlier meeting responses and the group’s personal experiences. A draft was then created and passed on to each of the units for review and then feedback was given to the large group. The Board was also allowed to preview this draft and provide any input they wanted. Then the final draft was drawn up and formatted by the director and presented to the rest of the Clubhouse for final review.
Describe any special circumstances the Clubhouse is facing that might have an impact on the certification visit:
Our Clubhouse moved locations in November 2010 and in the transition, membership numbers were temporarily reduced by half. We expected the move and renovations to be completed by February but unfortunately we had a huge flood just before we opened. This delayed our opening until April.
Last September (2010)we lost a ten-year staff member to a position within the Provincial Health Authority. The loss of her leadership was significant and it was felt through the whole organization. Fortunately, it has provided an opportunity for a few of the staff members to step it up as staff leaders. (We have had to replace 6 clubhouse International trained staff ) (since Nov 2011)
Last certification visit date and outcome:
The last certification
visit was on November 2006. The outcome from that visit was a three-year
conditional status. Our status was upgraded in early 2007 as we thoroughly
satisfied the recommendations in the report.
(Due to administrative and re-organizational issues, re-accreditation has been delayed until 2nd Quarter of 2013)
Please list all of the recommendations from the previous certification visit (if applicable). After each recommendation, describe the actions that have been taken to address the issue, and the current status.
The recommendations in the last report were as follows:
We recommend that the director assume ultimate responsibility for ensuring the implementation of the Clubhouse practice and philosophy. Clarity about the delicate balance between ‘process’ and ‘product’ in the Clubhouse must be communicated through the Clubhouse director. We suggest that the Director organize regular in house training and discussions about this, perhaps using some Clubhouse literature to assist in the discussion (i.e. “What if nobody wants to make lunch?” by Mark Glickman, and “Why work works” by Robby Vorspan and others)
In addition, regular staff supervision can help the Director communicate this vision to the staff. We understand that there has been some misunderstanding at Potential Place about staff supervision, and that there has been reluctance to engage in this practice because of a concern that these meetings might be considered ‘staff only’ meetings. Many Clubhouses successfully organize regular individual staff supervision times, and we suggest networking with these. Genesis Club in Massachusetts is especially strong in this regard.
Regarding the groups held during the workday, it is the Director’s ‘bottom line’ responsibility to ensure that the Clubhouse retains its vision of being a Standards-based community. These groups might be useful and comforting to some members in its mission of being a colleague, work-mediated environment. We will make a recommendation about this later in the report.
We encourage the Director to be cautious about his office becoming an area that is perceived as “off limits” to members. One way to help insure the sense of an open door policy is to have regularly scheduled work projects with the Director and members in the office.
We suggest that the Clubhouse put up more pictures of members and members artwork around the Clubhouse. We suggest that the Clubhouse improve the area in front of the Clubhouse to make it more welcoming. We suggest placing a sandwich Board Clubhouse sign by the street in order to make it more visible.
We suggest that the Clubhouse discuss its short and long term plans for its recently developed housing program and decide whether it is time to create a unique space for a housing unit. However, we caution the Clubhouse not to separate this function out unless it is clear that there will be “sufficient work, staff, and members” to ensure a full work ordered day. We believe that the work of housing can provide important, necessary, and urgent work to augment the work of the VSU, which often does not offer enough work opportunities for member involvement.
WORK ORDERED DAY:
We recommend that the Clubhouse extend its work ordered day to parallel typical working hours. We believe that should extend the hours of unit work later into the afternoon. The inclusion of snack time at 3:30 further detracts from the amount of time that could be spent working in the afternoon. Since there is a snack bar operating for a good portion of the day, this seems extraneous. We suggest the official hours of the work ordered day be identical to the hours that the Clubhouse is open each day (8:30-4:30).
We recommend that the healthy lifestyles class/ group and other ‘support’ and therapy type groups be moved outside the work ordered day. Standard #15 states, “the work ordered day must not include medication clinics, day treatment or therapy programs within the Clubhouse”. We believe that these groups are more consistent with medical treatment than with the work-mediated rehabilitation that is the hallmark of the Clubhouse model.
Rather than having a group or a class to discuss wellness, we suggest incorporating a wellness initiative into one of the existing units. Some ongoing work related to wellness could include:
- Survey the overall membership to assess the needs of the members regarding issues of health and wellness.
- Use of Clubhouse meeting to brain storm ways in which the Clubhouse community can integrate wellness supports into its day and work
- Each member signing on to take part in the wellness initiative should develop a goal plan with his/her staff ‘link’
- Goals should be regularly reviewed to assess whether progress is being made, and if not, how to adjust the plan and the goals and how the Clubhouse can better support the member in this important effort.
We recommend that the Clubhouse more fully focus on the strengths, talents and abilities of the members. The Clubhouse is distinguished from all other types of mental health programs because it stresses the values of focusing on the healthy and productive aspects of people with mental illness. When members are actively engaged in important and meaningful work, they can experience themselves as healthy and vital. Because of this, the relationships that develop between members and members, and members and staff, are rooted in a healthy interdependence in the context of the real world. Then within ‘normalized’ and mutual relationship, it becomes natural for members to share their challenges and obstacles within their colleagues.
There is a delicate balance between the focus on the ‘product’ of the work, and the focus on the ‘processes’. We believe that Potential Place has swung too far in the direction of ‘process’ and has lost some of the powerful impact of working together on a real, important, and urgent job.
We suggest that the units continue to create new work, break existing work down into smaller components, and engage members in a variety of tasks. The following are a list of suggestions that may add to the work and engagement of several units.
Food Service Unit:
Create more balanced meals to include a vegetable with each meal. Do more baking for both lunch and snack bar. The snack bar sells only bought items. Offer a variety of options for lunch. Include sandwiches, soup, etc. for those who don’t want the main meal.
Vocational Services Unit:
The self-study notes that this unit needs a ‘jump start,’ and needs to invigorate its work ordered day. For that reason, we suggest that the important functions of housing and wellness, be incorporated into this unit. Other ideas include:
- Display on the wall a regularly updated list of members working on TE. SE. IE. Create a more detailed display Board, showing all the members who are working, their start dates, and perhaps job titles and company names.
- Increase the size and visibility of Board that lists the TE positions on the wall so that member’s area aware of this process.
- Display a regularly updated list of members in various educational programs on the wall
- Take and display pictures of members working on a job, or at school, on walls of unit.
- Create a book that has a sheet for each working member and his or her work history. This creates good unit work and allows for efficient reporting. This data should be available on the unit for all members and staff to update on a regular basis.
- Pursue the goal of every member having an up to date resume.
- Set the home page on every computer to be a ‘job search’ web page
- Encourage members to go through the paper and cut out job opportunities for a job Board.
Track the number of days, weeks, or months members wait for placement on a TE.
- Track the money earned by members monthly and annually, noting the dollars paid in taxes.
- Track the number of days members sustain employment, and figure out the averages. Job tenure can be measured for both TE and SI/IE positions
- Track the number of days members provided support to other members on TE, as well as days that staff placement managers spend in supporting members in training and coverage.
- Track the number of hours spent in job development
- Develop a newsletter for Transitional Employment employers. It can include interviews with employers and members working in jobs. It could also include useful information such as considering good mental health for all employees.
- Contact Gateway House in South Carolina for practical ways in which members can become involved in the work of Clubhouse housing
We recommend that the Clubhouse develop more TE jobs that are at least in the 8-20 hour/ week range. According to these modified Guidelines this would mean that at least 3 jobs would be 15-20 hours/ week; at least 3 would be 8-15 hours/ week; and that the remaining jobs had hours that still provide an important vocational experience for the member. We do not believe that jobs that are less than 4 hours per week can provide this kind of experience.
It appears that due to the booming economy and the fact that members can easily find independent work that not many of them want to work TE jobs that are in this hourly range. However, as we witnessed during the employment dinner, there is usually a percentage of members who will continue to want and need the intensive supports of the TE system.
** We suggest that the Clubhouse begin keeping record about its supported education function. This is important information for the Clubhouse, as well as for potential funders
FUNCTIONS OF THE HOUSE:
** We suggest that the Clubhouse implement an ongoing in-house Education program in which to explore issues of Clubhouse philosophy and practice. In addition, we suggest that the Clubhouse work toward having all staff and equal number of members trained at ICCD training base. Board members should also participate in the third week of training and at Clubhouse seminars and conferences when possible
We concur with the suggestion in the self-study to engage in ‘staff exchanges’ with other strong Clubhouse. We have seen this arrangement work well a few times with other Clubhouse.
FUNDING, GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION:
No recommendations were made
a. Provide a brief overview the Clubhouse’s greatest strengths.
1. The greatest strength we feel Potential Place exemplifies is our resilience to continue providing services to our members throughout our most recent challenges over the last 6 months. This was evidenced recently by the higher than expected numbers of long term members continuing to come regardless of the state of affairs inside and outside of the Clubhouse. They wanted to help, stay connected and be part of the renovation process. Potential Place has always been able to embrace change and develop improvements and as a result, we often take a very close look at our programs, and ourselves striving to improve our Clubhouse whenever and wherever we can.
2. Our housing program has also been a source of confusion and yet also a source of strength as we always strive to make our housing program fit within the Clubhouse model. We have created an “Intentional Community” with our members in each apartment allowing them to act a property managers and work on taking care of their individual apartments, their building maintenance as well as each other.
3. We have maintained an outstanding reputation in the Calgary community leading to some very successful fund raising opportunities and also had many different referral sources from a multitude of organizations.
4. We have recently established quite a new and expansive variety of Board members that will help to propel us into the future. They are enthusiastic, smart, dedicated and posses a mountain of experience to assist the Clubhouse in becoming even more prominent in Calgary.
b. Briefly overview the most important issues the Clubhouse must now address, and the Clubhouse areas most in need of improvement.
1. As we have recently moved, we will need to re-establish the return of our full contingent of members. Our new space gives us the opportunity to fully utilize and plan our new space to enhance our WOD.
2. We need to increase our number of TE’s as we have lost a large number of TE’s in the past year. We also need to continue to work hard at achieving positions for our members including different varieties based on our member’s needs, interests and preferences.
3. It would be nice if we could implement a type of simple form of case management that would enable members to focus members on moving their recovery forward. Our funder does presently not require this but we feel our members could greatly benefit from this as it provides accountability and measurability of our program delivery and results.
Please consider the following questions in assessing the Clubhouse’s fidelity to these Standards.
- 1. Membership is voluntary and without time limits.
Potential Place membership has always been completely voluntary. Members choose to come to the Clubhouse in order to avoid loneliness, isolation, and for socialization and potential work. They are invited to stay as long as they wish and know that their membership is for their lifetime.
a. Are there members at the Clubhouse who, for any reason, do not believe that their attendance is truly voluntary (i.e. residential setting requires them to be out of the house)?
Even if a member is in an approved home and they are required to be busy during the day it is their choice alone whether to come to Potential Place or not. We will advocate for them to their group or approved home operators if they feel they are being forced to come here.
b. Describe any government or other funding contracts that effect the time a member can spend at the Clubhouse.
Funding is not tied to a member’s attendance at Clubhouse.
c. Where do referrals come from?
- Friends and family
- Member’s word of mouth
- Champions Career Centre
- Area counseling centres
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Family doctors and psychiatrist and psychologist
- In/ out patient hospital programs
- Self-recovery programs
- Approved homes
10. Drop in centers (Mustard Seed)
11. Calgary Dream Centre
12. Sheldon Chumir Medical Centre
2. The Clubhouse has control over its acceptance of new members. Membership is open to anyone with a history of mental illness, unless that person poses a significant and current threat to the general safety of the Clubhouse community.
Members first have an initial dialogue with prospective members to get to know them when they arrive at the Clubhouse. We give tours that are conducted by members to these new perspective members, their workers and sometimes even family members upon their first visit. When we give tours at the Clubhouse we ask if they have tried any other programs in the city, as well as how did they hear about us? We are always respectful and tell the potential member how our program is quite unique compared to other mental health programs in the city without speaking negatively about any other programs. We emphasize that membership is voluntary and is open to anyone with a history of mental illness unless they are determined to be a current threat to themselves or any other persons in Clubhouse.
a. Describe any screening process used. Is there a ‘trial membership’ or a Clubhouse committee to decide if someone is ‘a good fit’ for the Clubhouse, etc?
After a tour has taken place and the potential new member expresses an interest in becoming a Clubhouse member, we set up an intake interview. We have sometimes found that when members are present the potential new member may be not as open with the staff member so, for confidentially reasons, only clubhouse staff are present for this intake interview. Sometimes however a Clubhouse member may participate if the new member is an acquaintance of theirs. This usually lasts for about 15-20 minutes.
In this interview, we talk about their old and new symptoms and how Potential Place will support them to practice managing their symptoms. The interviewer asks about what interests, skills and talents the prospective member may have and inquires where they think they could help us in the running of the Clubhouse. They are told that to qualify for membership they must have a history of mental illness although we do not ask them to prove this.
The screening process is completely voluntary. If a potential member has a dual diagnosis and they cannot function independently during the day, we have found that we cannot always meet their needs adequately at Potential Place and a community referral is made to another more appropriate program. If a potential member does not want to provide us with any information that we require, then we will assess their attitude towards us and let them know that they can come back and reapply when they feel they may be more ready.
b. Describe any funding-related regulations that determine who is eligible for membership.
There are no funding-related regulations that determine who is eligible for membership other than members being 18 or older. Although our funder wishes us to share health information about our members, Potential Place does not give out any specifics about a member’s diagnosis. We only give a general break down of the diagnosis and their Alberta Health Care numbers. If members do not attend Clubhouse, we do not lose any of our funding. Our funding is not tied to member participation in the Clubhouse.
c. Does the Clubhouse serve people who do not have a history of mental illness? If so, describe.
d. How are decisions made about disciplinary actions, suspensions, etc.? How does the Clubhouse decide if someone poses a significant and current threat?
At the Clubhouse, we focus on a member’s behavior in addition to the individual as a whole person. We may document their inappropriate behaviors and judge whether the member is safe within our environment. We want a positive atmosphere here not just for members but staff as well. We enforce and promote a zero tolerance policy and always say that no verbal or physical abuse will be tolerated. We tell everyone that someone’s mental illness is not an excuse for abuse of any kind.
We do not have any committees or groups that hear a member’s complaints or misbehaviors. We believe that no members should ever be put in a position that they have any authority over other members. Instead, we encourage members to go to staff if they have any problems that they can’t work out themselves. Staff can then be asked to mediate on their behalf. Sometimes, staff do ask members to leave for the day if that member is being abusive or disruptive but they are usually able to come back the next day without a repercussion. If there is a serious incident, the Program Manager will consult with the staff and colleagues that have been affected by a member’s behavior or problem and then can make the decision to evoke a time-limited suspension. If a member is given a suspension, they have the right to appeal to the Director who ensures that each member’s case has been treated fairly and respectfully. These matters are always documented and witnessed. We always strive to not put members in a position where they feel ashamed. We want our members to go forward in their lives with integrity and so we help them with a plan to return when they feel ready to make better decisions. If these conditions are met prior to the suspension dates then the member may return.
Some members believe that our zero tolerance policy and swift disciplinary actions are too strict and yet sometimes the safety for all is the most important thing to us. At times we can also be more flexible with a member’s disruptive behaviours if we believe this is not their typical behaviour. Sometimes staff sit and listen to the distressed person to determine if that member has become a current threat to the Clubhouse. Incidents are typed up and copies given to the member, the Program Manager and Director for signing off. A copy is kept in the member’s locked file.
3. Members choose the way they utilize the Clubhouse, and the staff with whom they work. There are no agreements, contracts, schedules, or rules intended to enforce participation of members.
We emphasize that each member has responsibilities and choices to make for themselves. They are introduced to the Clubhouse philosophy at orientation as well as weekly Colleague Development meetings. Clubhouse is about meaningful relationships and work. We make new members aware of all choices they can make about themselves, their recovery and what programming they wish to see within their units as well as within the Clubhouse as a whole. Conversations occur within the units so they can support each other as well as work together to get the task of the day completed. These conversations help colleagues complete work that is meaningful to the operations. They learn to compromise by listening to other member’s thoughts about what needs to be done that day in the unit. All staff are generalists, so members are encouraged to choose work with any staff that they feel comfortable with. All staff should be able to support them with any needs they may have whether it be housing, financial, social or employment needs. We do not accept responsibility for group home operators or probation officers by letting them know whether or not a member has been attending Clubhouse.
a. How do members become involved in Clubhouse work?
During both morning and afternoon unit meetings all members are asked/invited to do a task with another member or a staff person. We portray the importance and urgency of the work needing to be accomplished that day in order to make the Clubhouse work. Knowing how this fits into the bigger running of the entire Clubhouse operations is what we believe makes the work meaningful.
b. What is the process by which members end up working with a specific Clubhouse staff worker?
Members choose the staff with whom they want to work with.
c. Describe any official Clubhouse contracts, schedules, rules, requirements or agreements governing member participation in the Clubhouse.
There are no contracts or rules for members. They can come and go, as they desire. Members are free to participate in any and all aspects of work in the Clubhouse.
4. All members have equal access to every Clubhouse opportunity with no differentiation based on diagnosis or level of functioning.
All members have equal access to all Clubhouse opportunities. Potential Place does not discriminate as we invite all individual members to participate. Putting members in places where they can learn and teach other members to do various tasks empowers and promotes a sense of mutual accomplishment. To help individuals with different levels of functioning, we may break down tasks. This allows everyone to be a small part of the bigger task. It allows more members to be part of the process.
a. Describe any Clubhouse opportunities that cannot be accessed by members.
Members are invited to participate in all opportunities in the Clubhouse. There are no areas in which members cannot participate.
b. Describe any ways in which members’ diagnosis or level of functioning affect access to any Clubhouse opportunities.
Members are invited to participation in all levels of Clubhouse. Decisions are not based on the level of functioning of any member.
5. Members at their choice are involved in the writing of all records reflecting their participation in the Clubhouse. All such records are to be signed by both member and staff.
Our funder requires no records of participation. (See present challenges).
a. Describe the record keeping procedures of the Clubhouse, including frequency of notes, nature of the forms that are used, and member participation in the process.
Only intake forms, basic contact information and demographics are kept in the files. Any incident reports are also kept in member’s locked files.
b. Note any records related to member participation in the Clubhouse that members do not sign off on.
There is no ongoing record keeping done or signed off on by members.
6. Members have a right to immediate re-entry into the Clubhouse community after any length of absence, unless their return poses a threat to the Clubhouse community.
There are absolutely no limits put on re-entry to Potential Place Clubhouse. We welcome members back whenever they return and gladly give them a new tour of the Clubhouse and bring them up to speed with what has happened since they left.
a. Note any restrictions on members’ ability to return to the Clubhouse after any length of absence.
There are no restrictions.
b. If there is a suspension policy, please describe it. Who determines if and when a member’s return poses a to the Clubhouse community?
(See #2. d)
7. The Clubhouse provides an effective reach out system to members who are not attending, becoming isolated in the community or hospitalized
a. What percentage of the active membership attends the Clubhouse on a daily basis?
With the recent move, flood and renovations, the number of members that are attending the Clubhouse has declined. The current attendance is only about 25-30 members each day. This represents only about 25% of our active membership. Prior to the move we had about fifty to fifty-five members attending Clubhouse. This represents about 55-60% of our active membership. We expect when the renovations are finished that our attendance will go up again.
b. Describe the Clubhouse’s reach out system. Who in the Clubhouse is responsible for it? Please note if and how reach out includes the following: phone calls, cards, mailings of Clubhouse newsletter and other publications, home visits, hospital visits, other. Does the reach out seem to be effective and adequate?
We have unit outreach binders with recent contact information for members who have been active for the last three months. Members and staff of each unit do outreach by telephone. They determine at each unit meeting whom they feel should be given a call based on who has not been seen or if they know that the member may need some support. There are also outreach visits done for members at our housing apartments as well as at inpatient hospital wards. Most members are sent birthday cards and also get well cards when necessary.
Prior Certification Recommendations in this section of the Standards
1. Potential Place practices are consistent with the Membership section of the Standards
Actions taken and current status of issues listed above.
- 1. No actions taken for above recommendations since Potential Place practices are consistent with the standards.
What are your Clubhouse’s greatest strengths in this section of the Standards?
We have a very committed membership that has invested their time and energy in our program. We have worked on ensuring that membership is completely voluntary and is without time limits. We have improved our process for welcoming and accepting almost all potential members and as such, we have no waiting lists. We believe that mental health is an ongoing issue and if there are incidents where members can become unstable, the staff are prepared to deal with any incidents that may arise. We realize we cannot predict inappropriate behavior. Therefore, we are continually working to respond to member’s needs and possible threats to the Clubhouse community. Each member is different; members that are new may need more help in becoming actively involved and acclimatized to our traditions.
Members that have been here a long time act as mentors. Members choose where they want to work and what they want to be involved with. Members choose the staff they want to work with. All members have access to the computers. Members will help one another out during lunchtime or breaks. Staff and members will work together for example producing the challenger newsletter. All space is shared without boundaries. Community Connections have been doing more outreach to our members in housing. We have a strong belief system that members are able to improve their skills and abilities and continue to move beyond their limited thoughts or challenges.
What does your Clubhouse need to improve in order to better comply with the Membership section of the Standards?
We believe we can improve on developing a more effective outreach program. The colleagues in the units have now made outreach a part of the work ordered day and members and staff consistently go to visit other members in the hospital however we have not established criteria to asses if these changes are effective or not. We have no baseline to measure success however, we working on improving the members contact information to assist us with our outreach. We specifically need to do outreach to our new members so we do not lose them between the cracks. We think this is one of our shortfalls. A few members will seek out new members and socialize with them but most members tend to socialize with members that we already know.
What recommendations and/or suggestions would you make for your Clubhouse regarding these Standards?
8. All Clubhouse meetings are open to both members and staff. There are no formal member only meetings or formal staff only meetings where program decisions and member issues are discussed.
All Clubhouse meetings involve member issues and program decisions are open to members and staff. The director and Program Manager have an open door policy when a member needs something to be addressed. All Clubhouse meetings involving member issues and program decisions are open to all members and staff.
a. Are there any meetings that are basically all-members, or all-staff? If so, describe.
We do not have member only or staff only meetings. There are no large-scale meetings that are staff only. There are infrequently “Quick time” meetings for staff (2 minutes) if there is a confidential or risk management issues to be discussed.
b. Are there any meetings that, though technically open to members, are scheduled so as to limit or preclude member attendance?
No there are no meetings of this nature. Members are usually excluded from our Board meetings although a clubhouse member on the Board represents the membership and mental health system. Any member may be invited to speak on a particular issue but then they are usually asked to leave after that. Currently we have only one Clubhouse member on our Board of Directors. He holds the Executive office of Corporate Secretary.
c. Describe the process for staff supervision in the Clubhouse.
There is no formal staff supervision time set up on an ongoing basis. We tried to implement specific times for all staff but it was too difficult. Supervision time for staff is now spent with the Program Manager when it seems to be needed. Staff are in favor of this method at the moment. The director also chats with all staff at least once a month informally to see how the staff are getting along with their positions.
d. Describe any meetings that staff are required to attend (whether in the Clubhouse, or off-site) in which “member issues” are discussed.
Members and staff have meetings together. All staff are required to be at every weekly Community Meeting as well as the weekly Colleague Development Meetings.
9. Clubhouse staff are sufficient to engage the membership, yet few enough to make carrying out their responsibilities impossible without member involvement.
Presently it may look that there are an abundance of staff about the Clubhouse however, when we have our numbers back up to 55-60 per day we feel we will have enough staff to properly engage our members. This would represent an average of staff to member ratio of 1:8. We feel this ratio is adequate so that if some staff are called out to one of the apartment buildings or a TE position coverage, then there would still be enough staff remaining at the Clubhouse to continue the work ordered day.
a. Describe the staff composition (each staff title, where they are attached, specific functions, etc.).
Dean, Iain, Andrea, Tim, Maria and Allison(half the time) rotate responsibility between the two units; Community Connections and Cafe Unit. Community Connections Unit é does intakes, orientations, data basing, public presentations, reception, education, employment and housing.
Cafe Unit é does all food services and kitchen maintenance as well as our new initiatives toward developing a Health and Wellness Program, (plus YAOP and shortly to have amedia program).
Navi is our bookkeeper and works 3 days per week (Allison does book & administrative work).
The Program Manager provides supervision, training and support to the staff. The Executive Director, works full time providing Administrative Support to the Clubhouse along with fund raising and acts as a Clubhouse liaison to government and to provide public relations.
b. Describe any projects that staff work on by themselves, and the reasons that this occurs.
10. Clubhouse staff have generalist roles. All staff share employment, housing, evening and weekend, holiday and unit responsibilities. Clubhouse staff do not divide their time between Clubhouse and other major work responsibilities.
All staff are generalists. The cafeé unit is responsible for the nutrition of the Clubhouse but they do outreach to members in their unit and they are also involved in supporting employment positions. All Cafeé staff have worked in another unit. At this point we do not have the Clubhouse open on weekends however we do rotate staff between units frequently and they are all able to help out in all aspects of housing and employment as well as cafeé services.
In the last year we have not spread out the apartment housing responsibilities as these remain with the Community Connections Unit. Pam and Jordan attend to our members in our apartments and provide any additional supports needed for our members. The rest of the staff will assist members of their units with their particular housing needs. On a day-to-day basis all staff act as generalists, and as such all are able to help any member with their specific needs and they are also easily able to switch units should that be necessary. Staff absolutely does not divide their responsibility with external responsibilities.
a. Are staff involved in all aspects of the Clubhouse (TE, social program, housing, advocacy, etc.)?
All staff are usually involved in all aspects of the Clubhouse. With regards to TE’s, the cafeé staff helps to cover the positions but they do not develop these positions. They are now being taught and supported in how to do this as new TE’s come up. All units are involved in development of the social program at the Clubhouse. Every staff is involved with advocating on a member’s behalf.
b. List the staff who have responsibilities that preclude them from being full Clubhouse generalists and describe their jobs.
Our part time bookkeeper’s responsibilities are confined to mostly administrative duties. She will always have her door open to all members and will often have lunch and sometimes attend meetings with the members. She is involved when the budget is presented and also when we review our budget halfway through the year.
c. Are there any Clubhouse staff who also have job responsibilities with the auspice agency, or other programs of the auspice agency? If so, describe.
11. Responsibility for the operation of the Clubhouse lies with the members and staff and ultimately with the Clubhouse director. Central to this responsibility is the engagement of members and staff in all aspects of Clubhouse operation.
The Executive Director has ultimate responsibility for the total operations of the Clubhouse, however he is adamant that he will make decisions that could have implications for the members ONLY with the consultation and engagement of member and staff’s input. The Executive Director continually asks staff for feedback in how they feel they are engaging members in the Clubhouse. There were sometimes decisions made solely by the Executive Director due to Board and funder’s requests or to remain compliant to the ICCD standards.
a. In what ways does the director provide a sense of urgency about Clubhouse work?
The Executive Director and the Program Manager participate in most daily unit meetings and one or the other is always at Community or Colleague Development meetings. Their presence gives value to our work. They give input into future planning and ask questions about future developments while bringing in ideas from the Board of Directors and possible donors. They try to ask more questions rather than provide answers in order to have members contribute more to the discussions. They encourage all activities to get going and provide reasons for the urgency of the work to be done at meetings and throughout their participation in the work ordered day.
b. In what ways does the director hold staff accountable for engaging members in all of the work of the units?
The Executive Director consults with colleagues in order to keep himself informed as to whether staff are supporting the members adequately with their needs. He also helps to support staff’s endeavors to members when they feel more can be done. His door is always open to staff for support and debriefing when a situation come up that is upsetting for a staff member. The Executive Director delivers the vision of where we are at and what we have decided to be done and the Program Manager supports the implementation of these goals with the rest of the Clubhouse colleagues. The Program Manager may meet with staff when he sees that some support or intervention is necessary.
Both the Program Manager and the Executive Director provide yearly performance appraisals to each individual staff member. In order for leadership to work it flows like this; the Board holds the Executive Director accountable for their requests and the Executive Director holds the Program Manager accountable for the implementation of these directives. He in turn holds the staff accountable for the responsibilities of engaging members and attending to the unit goals. Both encourage the staff to try to hold the members accountable for their activities and behaviours. Members seem to come back because we do keep each other honest. Members are always free to approach the Program Manager and The Executive Director about any issue. Both have an open door policy and members feel that both will take corrective action promptly when they see there is something they can fix or set up a format for a discussion about an issue.
c. In what ways does the director take an active role in creating new work opportunities for the units? Does the Clubhouse director engage members in his/her work? If so, how?
One way the Executive Director does this for the CC unit is through the external promotional work of the Clubhouse in the community. He will often include a member to help him make a presentation about our organization. He always reminds members that they are not only ambassadors for Potential Place but also for Mental Health. Another way he helps create new work for the unit is by utilizing members for their expertise with proof reading written reports, grants and proposals. He also assists units with their PR by arranging media opportunities for members to speak on the radio and TV. He helps members and units to develop their own proposals and letters for donations and thank you notes to donors and employers. He will also work on administrative projects with members in his office like budgeting and strategy planning as well as daily clubhouse activities. He even cleans out toilets.
d. Describe your overall sense of the quality of relationships at the Clubhouse, including member – member, staff – member, staff – staff. If this impression is different for the various units, describe each unit separately
Relationships in the Clubhouse are perceived as being authentic, respectful and genuine. Members talk about how the Clubhouse is influential in their relationship development and that most are not afraid of constructive criticism. When members are one on one they will talk about a certain issue vocally but when they talk about it in a group it is sometimes more toned down.
We feel that the member-staff relationships are generally respectful. Although relationships are sometimes difficult for some members, they are encouraged to speak their minds and share their opinions whenever they can and work out their differences peacefully.
Prior Certification Recommendations in this section of the Standards
1. We recommend that the director assume ultimate responsibility for ensuring the full implementation of the Clubhouse practice and philosophy.
2. Clarity about the delicate balance between ‘process’ and ‘product’ in the Clubhouse must be communicated through the Clubhouse Director
3. Regular staff supervision can help the Director communicate this vision to all staff.
Actions taken and current status of issues listed above.
1. The director attends unit meetings as well as the Community and Colleague Development meetings every week in order to ensure that the Clubhouse philosophy is being integrated into the Clubhouse practices.
2. This matter has been widely talked about in an ongoing manner. It seems we become fixated on both getting all the work done and then forgetting about the enduring relationship development or we become so focused on supporting each other than very little work seems to be getting done. This continues to and always has been an ongoing discussion.
3. Supervision is happening along with regular performance appraisals where the director’s vision is shared individually with all staff.
What are your Clubhouse’s greatest strengths in this section of the Standards?
When the Clubhouse has unit meetings both members and staff attend. At the Clubhouse there are both personal and professional relationships that members can gain skills by watching and participating in. All relationships are respectful have healthy boundaries. Potential Place is expanding these positive attitudes at the Clubhouse and hopefully this makes members want to continue to come back. Members understand that they do not have to be friends with everyone but they do need to be respectful and courteous. Members are seen to be more a part of the operation and understanding their roles and their value in the operation of the Clubhouse.
What does your Clubhouse need to improve in order to better comply with the relationships section of the Standards?
We can always improve by engaging each other more fully in the work ordered day. It is not just about getting the work done but also building relationships. We could also do better with outside professional relationships. We need to improve on our space and how it discourages isolating members in the Community Connections unit. At the moment Community Connections space is excessively congested however once the renovations are completed we will better organize this space.
c. What recommendations and/or suggestions would you make for your Clubhouse regarding these Standards?
Feedback is solicited from members on an ongoing basis during meetings and discussions.
12. The Clubhouse has its own identity, including its own name, mailing address and telephone number.
The Clubhouse has its own name, mailing address, and telephone number and website.
a. Briefly describe the Clubhouse space.
Potential Place is now almost 5500 square feet with ample space for our expansion. We are impressed with the size and newness of the building. We have a state of the art kitchen with an outdoor patio and a large dining area. We have a handicap lift and a number of offices and Boardrooms. We also have two large areas for group and unit set up.
b. If there is an auspice agency, does the Clubhouse identify itself using the auspice agency name when answering Clubhouse phones? Is the auspice agency name included in Clubhouse signs, letterhead, literature, etc.? Does the Clubhouse have its own mailing address, email address, and telephone number, separate from that of the auspice agency?
There is no auspice agency.
c. Is there a sign that easily identifies the Clubhouse from the outside?
Yes we have decals on 4 entrance ways and sandwich boards that we can use to post events and displays when we choose.
13. The Clubhouse is located in its own physical space. It is separate from any mental health center or institutional settings, and is impermeable to other programs. The Clubhouse is designed to facilitate the work-ordered day and at the same time be attractive, adequate in size, and convey a sense of respect and dignity.
Potential Place Clubhouse is located in its own physical space and is separate from any mental health setting.
a. Do staff and/or clients from other mental health program have access to Clubhouse space? If so, describe.
b. Is the Clubhouse located in a building that is “institutional” in appearance or function? If so, describe.
The Clubhouse is located in a business office building that is professional looking in appearance.
c. Are the rooms of the Clubhouse large enough to support unit activities and group projects? Is the Clubhouse too large or too small for the number of members and staff? If so, describe.
Once all the renovations are completed there will be adequate room for unit work order day activities and group projects. It is the right size for our continued growth
d. Are the appliances, computers, and office machines up-to-date and adequate to meet the needs of the community? Describe.
All equipment, photocopier and computers are adequate, and in addition, we have all new appliances in the kitchens.
e. Who is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the building?
All colleagues work together to maintain the inside of the building. The property manager is responsible for the upkeep of the outside of the building.
f. Is the building attractively furnished, and convey a sense of dignity and respect? Describe.
Yes the building is attractively furnished.
g. Approximately what percentage of the Clubhouse space is used primarily as lounge and/or recreational space?
The eating and bistro area (45%) is open during the Friday evening events and may be used as a lounge or recreational space.
h. Note any ways in which the Clubhouse space does not facilitate the work-ordered day.
100% of space facilitates the work ordered day. We are still becoming aware of the need to incorporate barrier free areas.
14. All Clubhouse space is member and staff accessible. There is no staff only or member only spaces.
a. Do members seem to feel comfortable accessing all areas of the Clubhouse, and are they welcome to do so? Describe any workspaces that do not seem to be member accessible.
The clubhouse is wheelchair accessible therefore the majority of space is accessible to staff and members including the Director’s, book keeper’s and Program Manager’s offices are often used for meeting rooms.
b. Are there areas of the house that have been significantly ‘personalized’ by any one person, with family pictures, diplomas, etc.? If so, describe.
There are no areas that have been significantly personalized by any one person aside from the Director and Bookkeeper’s offices where family pictures and gifts from members are displayed.
Prior Certification Recommendations in this section of the Standards
1. The Executive Director is to help insure the sense of an open door policy with his office a possible suggestion is to have regularly scheduled work projects with the Director and members in the office
2. Putting up pictures of members and members’ artwork around the Clubhouse. Improving the area in the front of the Club House to make the Clubhouse more inviting.
3. Have Potential Place discuss its short and long term plans for its recently developed housing program and decide whether it is time to create a unique space for a housing unit.
Actions taken and cur