Promoting, Supporting, and Advancing Local Area Agencies
The Community Support Network, Inc. (CSNI) is an organization whose primary role is to represent all ten area agencies in New Hampshire. According to their website, CSNI’s mission is to “promote, support, and advance the local area agencies in their efforts to maintain and evolve the community-based system of long term support and services.”
Executive Director at CSNI, Jonathan Routhier described the bond between CSNI, our state’s area agencies, and those we support as an “integrated set of relationships”. Families supported by an area agency will often let CSNI know what issues are impacting them the most at any given time, area agencies and CSNI regularly discuss information surrounding bills, elections, and laws that are then delivered back to those we support, and CSNI conducts interviews with individuals and their support teams that will help determine the type of support and amount of support they need. Area agencies, CSNI, and families supported are able to maintain a close connection because of shared goals and values.
Perhaps one of the most innovative aspects of the organization is the SIS interviews. According to their website, these assessment tools shift the focus from what a person is unable to do – to what a person needs so that they can be successful in every aspect of their daily life. These interviews are conducted every five years for every individual supported from age 16+. Interview questions are focused on the following categories: home living, community living, lifelong learning, employment, health and safety, social protection, protection, and advocacy. After the interview, the results are used to create a ‘Total Support Needs Index’ which will give families ideas and resources meant to help the individual supported be successful in every aspect of their life. These interviews are conducted by CSNI to avoid any potential conflicts of interest that may occur in the scoring process.
Other duties of the organization include: facilitating the National Core Indicators project, and tracking data related to the number of people being supported by the area agency system and the demographics of those individuals – this information is used to manage and produce Medicaid billing information and service authorization. Those who work at CSNI are members of several committees and groups all related in some way to ensuring individuals supported by the area agency system are receiving the support they deserve. Quality Improvement, Uniformity of Practice, IT Committee, Statewide Risk Management Committee (SRMC), Community of Practice (CoP), and the statewide Family Support Council are all organizations members of CSNI sit on to help allow area agencies to do the best work possible.
CSNI also hosts webinars, training sessions, and events. Currently, these events are held virtually. The best way to get involved with attending these events is to follow CSNI on Facebook HERE: Community Support Network Inc. | Facebook and their website HERE: Community Support Network, Inc. (csni.org).
Created by the ten area agencies, CSNI supports them all to ensure that every person in our system receives the best support possible. Thank you CSNI for the work that you do!