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Office of Mental Health

Home and Community Based Services Waiver
Guidance Document
Skill Builder Competencies

  1. Information
    Skill Building Services workers demonstrate knowledge in the following areas:
    • The Individualized Care Model
    • Behaviors associated with serious emotional disturbances in children and adolescents
    • Effective responses to undesirable behaviors
    • Conflict management techniques with children and youth
    • Effects, side effects and counter indications of psychotropic medications
    • Group facilitation with children and youth
    • Developmental stages and associated tasks
    • Impact of learning disabilities and developmental delays on skill set acquisition
    • Methods and activities to facilitate achievement of specific developmental tasks
    • Methods and activities for enhancing or developing talents and strengths
    • Motivational incentives
    • Skill development to prepare for transition to early adulthood including vocational training opportunities
    • Family engagement in supporting development and growth
    • HCBS Waiver philosophy and guidelines
  2. Cultural Competency
    The Skill Builder practices cultural competency as demonstrated by the following:
    • Sensitivity to cultural and ethnic norms
    • Non-judgmental approaches to working with children and families whose culture and values differ from the worker’s own
    • Recognition of strengths in culturally driven patterns and preferences
    • Provision of skill building activities that are culturally appropriate for each child
    • Acknowledging and addressing with the ICC culturally driven barriers to engagement
  3. Tasks and Skills
    The Skill Builder demonstrates competency in performing the following tasks:
    1. Safety
      • Identifies predictors of violence in the home and community
      • Follows ICC agency’s Worker Safety protocols
      • Recognizes and addresses signs of escalation
      • Maintains familiarity with the child’s Safety Alerts Plan (SAP)
      • Supervises child’s activities
      • Provides ICC with schedule of contacts
    2. Engagement of Child
      • Communicates clearly with the child
      • Employs active listening skills
      • Establishes professional boundaries
      • Defines expectations clearly
      • Offers reassurance and encouragement
      • Supports child’s participation in selecting activities as appropriate
      • Offers feedback to the child and family
    3. Planning and Implementing Skill Building Activities
      • Maintains familiarity with the child’s service plan through the ICC
      • Plans and/or conducts activities in partnership with the child that address the child’s Waiver service plan objectives
      • Identifies activities that support the targeted developmental tasks, strengths, and/or talents
      • Assures that selected activities are developmentally appropriate
      • Models and teaches socially acceptable behaviors
      • Uses creativity in planning activities
      • Utilizes community resources
      • Evaluates child’s progress in collaboration with ICC
      • Collaborates with schools, formal and informal supports
      • Obtains approval for use of flex dollars in accord with the service plan
    4. Team Process
      • Maintains on-going communication with the ICC
      • Informs ICC of child’s progress, concerns and changes in child’s behavior
      • Receives information about the child and family from the ICC including updates on the service plan and safety alerts plan
      • Seeks information from the ICC regarding the Skill Builder’s role with a specific child and family
      • Attends Service Plan Reviews
    5. Documentation
      • Demonstrates basic writing skills
      • Completes Skill Building Services Progress Notes per ICC agency and Waiver guidelines, filling in all required billing elements
      • Relates each Progress Note to a goal and objective
      • Identifies flex dollar expenditures and amounts in the Progress Note
      • Submits receipts for flex fund expenditures to ICC agency
      • Completes ICC agency’s forms as required
      • Assures that billed hours of contact match time sheet
    6. Fulfillment of Requirements
      • Adheres to NYS and agency requirements including: HIPPA, ethical guidelines, confidentiality, and worker safety protocols
      • Reports untoward events and suspected or actual abuse per NYS and ICC agency requirements
      • Participates in supervisory session
      • Attends training