Keeping the developmentally disabled safe, skilled, and loved

In the back-row, left, is Gershon Clarke, founder and president of Quality Services Beyond Compliance Inc., center back-row, son, Dominic Clarke and right back-row, Faye Torrington, with other staff members at the recent Thanksgiving Luncheon.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

The management of Quality Services Beyond Compliance (QSBC) — a community rehabilitation program for the developmentally disabled- “Gave Thanks” with a lavish dinner on Nov. 10, and applauded parents for their support of the organization, geared towards enhancing the lives of clients.

During the enjoyable event of giveaways, and a toast to its work in the lower level of its two-storey building at 28 Melrose St. in Brooklyn, parents learned that love and continued good service help to improve the lives of their family members.

A sign that says “Love Is All You Need” is evidence that founder of QSBC, Guyanese-born Gershan Clarke, remains steadfast in the promise he made 17 years ago, when he launched the organization to help underserved residents in the community.

Clarke migrated to America, 30 years ago, and after retiring from his compliance officer post with New York state, started a program to give excellent service, and to ensure “we are always in compliance, and beyond, because of New York state auditing mandate.”

“My job was to audit group homes and programs that served developmentally disabled people,” said Clarke, who during the 1980s, discovered that many communities were underserved, as such, he created a grassroots organization, targeting these same communities.

The program, which was launched with just five consumers, in 2000, today has grown to include approximately 400 families.

In addition to Medicaid service coordination — a program that links all-needs services, QSBC runs a day rehabilitation for persons age 21 to 70, who are taught basic academic and pre-vocational skills, community inclusion, and travel training to get to limited worksites in competitive fields.

The in-home community rehabilitation teaches families to interact with their disabled child. This program also helps clients to know their environment, and become integrated into their communities.

Geared towards residents in all of the boroughs, with respect and supported employment in Brooklyn from 10 am – 4 pm, QSBC is an agency on a mission to provide services to all individuals based on the principles of respect.

A former teacher in his homeland, Clarke taps into the school system to bring clients into the QSBC program. Service coordinators also attend fairs, and parent teacher association meetings to let parents know these services are available to their children throughout the state.

However, there is a waiting list for both the day-rehab and residential services, said Clarke.

Those already in internship programs, volunteer at the Salvation Army and Dollar Deals, while employment is available for higher functioning clients, some who take public transportation independently.

Barnes and Nobles, Target and Marshalls, are work sites, where some clients are offered employment after evaluation.

Staff of QSBC who hails from Caribbean countries, like Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, Barbados and Dominican Republic, and qualified in the field, also meet the work ethic standard that is very important, said Clarke, adding that hands-on, love, patience, and care for the disabled, makes a big difference.

“At home my mother took care of my grandmother and my grandmother died at home. We are accustomed to taking care of our families so we extend this quality to our program,” said Clarke, noting that the organization has a close relationship with families.

This puts families at ease, when clients are in the care of our staff.

Like Dominic Clarke, who was inspired by his father to join the family business, as director of program operations, other workers believe that clients can lead independent, normal lives with the right support.

This shows the level of competence and care offered by the organization, that Dominic says he joined at the age of 12, as the office cleaner.

Faye Torrington is also a Guyanese-born, who migrated to the United States after 14 years of teaching. She enjoys working at QSBC as a medical services coordinator, (MSC), and is aware that the learning process is challenging for people with special needs. As such, she is able to dissect concepts and use concrete examples to make it simpler for them to learn.

As a compliance officer also, she ensures best practices in billing and documentation are followed, “to ensure that the agency complies with state standards,” said Torrington, who joined the program one year ago.

QSBC could be reached at 516-280-9361; Email: Qualb[email protected]

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