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JOB TITLE:               Individual Support Specialist


REPORTS TO:          Residential Manager or Assistant Residential Manager


DEPARTMENT:        Residential


SUPERVISES:           NA


SUMMARY:  Works directly with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a residential environment to provide personal care and promote an individual’s independence, individualization, productivity, integration, personal choice, safety and well-being.  Interacts with individuals and staff in a positive and culturally respectful manner.


Job Results & Essential Functions

Measures of Success


Healthy & Safe Individuals  (30%)


A.       Directly and indirectly observes and monitors the activities of individuals at all times to ensure safety and well-being.


B.       Provides primary health and physical care of individuals. Promotes the health and wellness of all individuals served through health maintenance and prevention strategies, accurate medication administration, knowledge of general health and safety rules, first aid and emergency procedures.  Understands and follows protocols outlined in the Plans of Nursing Service (PONS).


C.       Intervenes immediately when abuse is suspected and notifies a management-level staff member of the suspected occurrence.


D.       Assists in providing a safe environment for individuals, through timely reporting of facility or equipment maintenance or replacement needs, and participating in building evacuation drills.  Helps maintain a sanitary environment of assigned unit, by performing cleaning responsibilities, timely reporting of needed equipment or supplies, and routine practice of infection control procedures.


E.       Addresses challenging behaviors proactively, respectfully, and by avoiding the use of aversive or deprivation intervention techniques.  Staff will be familiar with and implement behavior support plans as outlined.


F.       Supervises and monitors safety of individual while eating, toileting, getting on and off vans, etc.   Demonstrates appropriate guidelines in all physical interactions or interventions with individuals, including dining, lifting, transferring, positioning, or physical interventions.


G.      Knows fire safety procedures and completes all required fire safety trainings.  Participates in fire drills and other evacuation drills as necessary.


H.       Ensures the safety of all individuals while transporting; including adhering to IPOP needs, completing pre-transportation checks of vehicle, obeying all traffic signs and documenting all transportation on mileage logs.


I.         Maintains a working knowledge of house operations and implements as needed (i.e. household maintenance, food operations, medication administration, financial assistance, recreation).  Maintains a safe, clean, well-organized environment.





·          No instances of filed reports relating to IPOP


Supervisor’s observation that employee:

·          Follows protocol for nurse/NOC contact and that there are no unnecessary calls to the nurse on call

·          Completes cleaning responsibilities as outlined in the communication log and reminders about cleaning are minimal

·          Completes fire drills correctly

·          Demonstrates knowledge of the characteristics of specific disabilities, diseases or conditions that affect individuals

·          Observes and documents signs and symptoms of illness

·          Monitors individuals for side effects and effects caused by medications or treatments

·          Communicates necessary medical information staff and others identified in the individual plan

·          Reads and completes health care notes as necessary

·          Encourages individual to use personal safety according to their vulnerability

·          Can accurately identify whether a described or observed situation should be reported as a suspected case of abuse or neglect and know appropriate steps to take to protect and support the individual in such a situation

·          Uses effective problem solving strategies when faced with a crisis or situation that needs resolution; allowing the individual to maintain control and dignity

·          Documents transportation, completes pre-transportation checks of vehicle, and adheres to IPOP needs when transporting individuals.


Enhanced Ability of Individual to Lead a Self-Determining Life (30%)


A.       Supports the emotional, physical and personal well-being of all individuals served  through encouraging growth and recognizing their autonomy; while being attentive and energetic in reducing their risk of harm.


B.       Provides individual training and support to individuals in skills of independent and responsible living such as:  daily household tasks, care of wardrobe, personal hygiene, ADL, recreational outings, development of individual interests, and other daily living skills.  Identifies opportunities for greater learning and independence.


C.       Identifies opportunities to enhance the individual’s experience by applying an approach to care that is individualized to their needs and skill level, and moves them toward willing involvement.


D.       Maintains a positive relationship with individual’s family members/guardians which includes providing status updates, transporting individuals, and acting as a positive liaison between family/guardian, the residential program, and support team members.


E.       Assists individuals with household shopping and maintenance as necessary, providing ongoing opportunity for individuals to assume increasing control and responsibility.


F.       Will act as an advocate on behalf of the residents as needed within the community.





Supervisor’s observation that employee:

·          Demonstrates ability to use a communication style appropriate to each individual

·          Provides opportunities for the individual to be a self advocate and speak on their own behalf

·          Researches, develops and maintains information on community and other resources relevant to the needs and preferences of individuals

·          Encourages and assists the individual in facilitating friendships, and other peer interactions, providing support and guidance as necessary

·          Implements individualized plan, utilizing behavior modification techniques and various instructional strategies as appropriate for the individual, while respecting the individual’s right to refuse participation

·          Provides services with a person-centered approach

·          Assists with shopping, promotes community inclusion and either attends or provides input for ISP meetings

Documentation (20%)


A.       Documents daily activities and provides feedback to supervisors on their direct observations of the needs, progress and condition of individuals.



B.       Reviews data collection and prepares written progress notes at the frequency stated in the ISP.



C.      Maintains confidentiality of records relating to individual’s treatment.


D.      Implements all specified plans and documentation systems (i.e. treatment and behavior plans, communication logs, event reports, time cards, etc.) and documents accordingly.


E.       Reviews the house and medical communication log prior to beginning every shift.


F.       Completes individual summary sheets and daily progress notes prior to leaving each shift unworked.


G.      Completes event reports accurately and completely when an event occurs.  Makes appropriate contacts as noted on the event report.




·          Periodic audits reflect accurate, complete, and up-to-date documentation

·          Zero instances of breach of individual confidentiality


Supervisor’s observation:

·          # corrections required are minimal

·          Documentation contains enough detail to adequately reflect situation

·          Incident reports are completed and submitted to appropriate parties within specified timeframes.

·          Notes use approved abbreviations and objective language

Individuals Receive Medications as Ordered  (20%)


A.       Administers and charts medications accurately and in accordance with medication administration guidelines and individual care plan.


B.       Oversees the health and safety of the individual by monitoring medication errors and following reporting procedures.


C.      Knows common medications prescribed for the individuals supported and assists the individual in taking necessary precautions to avoid interactions (e.g. food, environment).



·          Exceptional Performance = Zero documented medication errors or events

·          Fully Proficient Performance = No decertifications during the year (per policy, five or fewer points at any time during the year)

·          Developmental Performance = One to two decertifications during the year (per policy, decertification occurs when six or more points are accrued)

·          Unsatisfactory Performance = Permanent decertification (per policy, permanent decertification occurs when there have been three decertifications during any twelve month period, or at the discretion of the supervising RN, at any time, if the health and safety of the individuals is at risk)



Position Qualifications


Minimum Education & Experience

High school diploma/G.E.D. required.  Two years working within a human services field preferred.



·         Valid driver’s license required

·         Must maintain current required certifications as designated by the agency including:  AMAP, SCIP, First Aid/CPR


Computer Skills

·         Basic Computer Literacy as evidenced by the ability to go online and conduct basic searches on the Internet, check his/her email account, create and send e-mail with an attachment and use simple email features.   Can open spreadsheets and word processing documents to read and make simple edits.


Other Skills/Knowledge/Experience

·         Ability to stay calm and level-headed under pressure and still perform well

·         Must demonstrate sensitivity, objectivity and tact

·         Good communications skills including verbal and written communication

·         Must demonstrate good judgment

·         Ability to manage multiple priorities while maintaining effective levels of consumer service

·         Ability to complete the agency’s pre-service training program.  Training includes:  medication administration and management; first aid and CPR; health and safety issues; community integration practices; behavioral and medical needs of individuals with developmental disabilities; record keeping and documentation practices.

·         Ability to foster teamwork between all team members via open communication, sharing of responsibilities, and a positive, constructive attitude.


Physical Requirements

·         Standing 45% of the time.  Walking 45% of the time.  Sitting 10% of the time.

·         Frequently required to stoop, reach, push, pull and lift.

·         Occasionally required to climb and kneel.

·         Required to exert up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 20 pounds of force frequently.

·         Ability to use medical equipment such as Hoyer, SARA lifts and push/pull wheelchairs and carts (grocery).

·         Close visual acuity to determine the accuracy, neatness, and thoroughness of the work assigned or perform an activity such as:  preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading, or visual inspection.


Working Conditions

·         May be required to work daily or weekly overtime as necessary as required


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