Supplemental Information about SeniorServ
1. What programs does SeniorServ provide and what is SeniorServ’s financial accountability and transparency for them?
Community SeniorServ, Inc., (“SeniorServ”) is a 501(c)(3) California nonprofit corporation that has been providing meals and other supportive services to seniors in central and north Orange County for 50 years. SeniorServ’s funding is derived, in part, from government reimbursement contracts, as well as from earned income attained through care services and commercial food contracts, and from nonprofit fundraising activities. All programs meet contractual requirements. SeniorServ is audited annually by public accountants, White Nelson Diehl Evans. Financial reports are publicly available on SeniorServ’s website at https://www.seniorserv.org/about/financials/.
2. How does SeniorServ allocate its government funding for Older Americans Act programs?
Consistent with SeniorServ’s contract for Older Americans Act programs with the County of Orange Office on Aging, SeniorServ targets people age 60 and older across its service area who have the greatest economic need and social need, with particular attention to low-income minority individuals; have severe disabilities; have limited English-speaking ability; and/or have Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders, and their caregivers. SeniorServ uses a standardized, approved assessment to determine eligibility and priority for Home Delivered Meals. SeniorServ meets contractual requirements for use of those funds and is audited annually by the Office on Aging.
SeniorServ also has Community Development Block Grant contracts with several cities that provide supplemental funds for food costs associated with the Congregate (group settings) and/or Home Delivered Meal programs. SeniorServ meets contractual requirements for use of those funds and is audited annually by those cities. Additionally, cities may elect to provide general funds or in-kind support for the Congregate and Home Delivered programs to stabilize or increase government service levels. SeniorServ also fundraises to supplement government funding.
SeniorServ takes targeting requirements, contractual funding agreements, and supplemental support from cities into account when determining service levels provided with government funding. This has become increasingly challenging since 2010 when federal funding levels were frozen without providing increases for inflation or for the growing number of seniors. Additionally, SeniorServ’s government funding has decreased in its service area due to increases in the number of seniors in other parts of the County.
3. How does SeniorServ allocate funds for Nutrition Transportation to Congregate Lunch Centers?
SeniorServ received responsibility for administering Older Americans Act Nutrition Transportation in 2011, at which time SeniorServ contacted cities in its service area to determine their interest in participating in the program. Those cities who elected to contract with SeniorServ receive funds to provide transportation in accordance with program requirements. Any city not active in the program may contact SeniorServ if interested in participating.
4. How does SeniorServ determine eligibility for Home Delivered Meals and associated wait lists?
SeniorServ’s Social Services department conducts a standardized telephone interview of individuals requesting services, which includes determining eligibility and assessing nutritional risk. Eligible persons age 60+ who are rated as high nutritional risk are identified as Priority 1 and advanced to an in-home assessment. SeniorServ immediately adds them to the program upon confirmation of eligibility. The department also determines when to provide emergency meals.
Older adults, age 60+ identified as Priority 2 have moderate nutritional risk are included on an interest list (wait list) during periods of limited funding. Additionally, these older adults are given referrals to community resources. If eligible, they are added to the program as funding is available. Individuals on the interest list are asked to call back for reassessment if their situation changes.
To ensure individuals with the highest needs are served on an-ongoing basis, SeniorServ reassesses clients quarterly. If they no longer have qualifying needs, their participation in the program is concluded, and they are referred to other community resources.
Given the age and frailty of the population served by SeniorServ, clients periodically pass away due to various changes in their health status. Similarly, it is possible for a senior with moderate nutritional risk on the interest list to pass away from a variety of causes.
5. Does SeniorServ create Home Delivered Meal wait lists for fundraising purposes?
There is more demand for the Home Delivered Meals program than government funds support, and therefore clients are prioritized based on need, as described above. Individuals assessed as Priority 2 are added to an interest list which may also be referred to as a wait list. Such lists are never created for the purpose of fundraising. SeniorServ actively communicates about the number of seniors waiting for services so that prospective donors are aware of unmet needs and can support the program as they may choose.
6. How does SeniorServ help seniors who are not eligible for the Home Delivered Meals program or when interest exceeds capacity?
Individuals of any age who are not eligible for the Home Delivered Meals program or who are added to the interest list are provided referrals to food banks and other community resources.
On a broader bases, SeniorServ is taking action on hunger in Orange County through its collaborative involvement in various initiatives. As a member of the Leadership Council for the OC Strategic Plan for Aging, SeniorServ provides staff support in several areas impacting seniors, including co-chairing the Senior Food Security initiative.
SeniorServ is a member of Meals on Wheels California, for which SeniorServ’s CEO serves as president, and a member of Meals on Wheels America. SeniorServ also advocates for at-risk seniors in the County through engagement at the city , state and national level. Further, SeniorServ’s CEO is on the Board of Directors for the National Associations for Nutrition and Aging Services Providers, which advocates on behalf of seniors eligible for Older Americans Act programs and other government programs that help older adults.
7. How does SeniorServ determine employee compensation?
SeniorServ is committed to attracting and retaining qualified employees at all levels of the organization. The organization conducts periodic compensation surveys to ensure its pay levels and practices are appropriate and competitive. SeniorServ evaluates compensation in the nonprofit sector for many of its positions, also taking into account market rates for positions that are industry or skill-specific, such as food services or licensed positions. Additionally, turnover rates and length of time to fill a position are considered when setting compensation ranges.
Similar factors, including relevant salary surveys, are reviewed and considered by the Board of Directors for executive compensation. The Board annually approves the compensation of executive management, which is disclosed on the agency’s public financial statements. Additionally, a portion of the target pay for management positions may be at-risk and therefore variable. The variable portion, also referred to as bonus, is based on achievement of approved goals designed to improve quality, efficiency and/or long-term sustainability. Consistent with government requirements, SeniorServ does not submit variable compensation for reimbursement with government funds.
8. What are SeniorServ’s workplace harassment policies?
SeniorServ is committed to providing a safe and harassment-free workplace for all of its employees. Any and all concerns reported to the Human Resources Department are fully investigated as outlined in SeniorServ’s Policy Against Unlawful Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation. Additionally, SeniorServ’s employees receive sexual harassment training as required by law.
SeniorServ also contracts with an external firm, Lighthouse Services, to provide a hotline for any individual to report concerns anonymously. All such concerns are investigated and addressed as appropriate.
To support its work force, SeniorServ’s Human Resources department has bi-lingual (English/Spanish) staff. SeniorServ’s Employee Handbook and related communications are provided in English and Spanish, and meetings with employees regarding Human Resources matters are offered in English and Spanish. SeniorServ supports no preferential or discriminatory treatment of staff with limited English abilities.
9. What is SeniorServ’s policy about gifts from vendors or others?
It is SeniorServ’s policy that employees may not request or accept any gift, gratuity, loan, bonus, tip, payment, bequest, inheritance, or advance of money from any customer, client, participant, or supplier without the express written authorization of the President. SeniorServ management and Board may solicit donations from vendors and other corporations for approved purposes. SeniorServ has instituted a practice of notifying vendors annually about its gift and sponsorship solicitation policies.
10. How does SeniorServ handle meal breaks for staff?
SeniorServ administers rest periods and meal breaks as required by California State law. For instance, all hourly employees working more than 6 hours in a day are required to take a meal break by the 5th hour of work, regardless of the position they hold.
11. How does SeniorServ obtain feedback from staff who have voluntarily resigned?
Employees voluntarily resigning from the company are invited to complete an exit interview form and review it with the Human Resources department before they leave. Any concerns are reviewed, investigated and addressed as deemed appropriate and as required by California State law.