Dear Parents, Guardians, and Self-Advocates:
As many of you are aware, the Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Darke DD) has been engaged in discussions regarding our local plan to respond to changes in federal law. One of the more significant changes requires that county boards of DD in Ohio must comply with federal law regarding ‘conflict-free case management’ – the county board of DD cannot develop the person-centered plan and also provide the direct services needed to implement the plan. For many years, most county boards of DD in Ohio have prepared the individual service plan, provided the funds to pay for services, and also provided direct services outlined in the plan. Now, county boards of DD are instructed to ‘divest’ themselves from the provision of direct services (but still fund the service).
It is important to Darke DD to ensure continued quality services offered to individuals eligible for DD services. Darke DD has identified an option to address the conflict-free case management issue that provides a seamless transition in service provision. In order to increase local capacity for service provision and to provide another option for adult day and transportation services, the Darke County Board of DD passed a resolution to work with Person Centered Services (PCS) to provide direct services at the Wayne Industries facility.
What will this mean to my family member or loved one who is attending Wayne Industries now? In reality, most changes will be ‘behind the scenes’ in terms of service delivery – the impact to your family member should be minimal. Many (if not all) current direct service staff will be offered employment through PCS. Integrated options will be incorporated into the service delivery model and will be available throughout the week. A work option at Wayne Industries and in the community will continue. PCS will provide a transportation option utilizing mostly transit style vehicles to transport individuals to the Wayne Industries facility.
Why did Darke DD make this decision? Again, in response to many changes in federal law and in an attempt to be proactive in our local response, Darke DD believes this action allows for a transition with the least amount of upheaval in our service model and service delivery – and will ultimately meet the requirement for integrated services provided with conflict-free case management.
How can I learn more about Person Centered Services and their service delivery history? Darke DD has scheduled a number of informational meetings in the coming months regarding current topics. Information regarding PCS and a status update regarding the transition to PCS will be given at each meeting. These meetings are scheduled for June 11, August 13, October 15, and December 10, 2015. PCS will be coming to the Wayne Industries facility to meet with families, individuals served, and staff, so that you can get to know their service delivery model and philosophy.
What’s the timeline for the transition? Darke DD will end its direct service delivery effective December 31, 2015. PCS will begin service delivery at the Wayne Industries facility on January 1, 2016. Many meetings will take place in the coming months. These meetings will involve different stakeholder groups.
What services will Darke DD continue to provide? As mentioned above, Darke DD will not provide direct services in terms of staffing. However, Darke DD will continue to fund services provided by other certified providers of home and community based services in Darke County and surrounding counties (as required in state law). Darke DD is required to pay approximately 40% of the cost of services while Medicaid funds 60% of the cost. Darke DD currently partners with a number of qualified providers to support individuals and services. In addition to funding and coordinating these services, Darke DD provides or supports: service coordination and case management, school to work transition, employment related services, early intervention services, facility operations and management, community housing options and supports, advocacy coordination, Special Olympics activities, education and training options, and volunteer or work opportunities.
While this change is very significant, the Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities remains steadfast in its commitment to the people we serve. Darke DD believes that all people are valuable and have potential. Based on this belief, it is the mission of our agency to empower people with developmental disabilities to explore possibilities for their lives by maximizing independence, community participation, employment, and economic self-sufficiency in their daily life experiences. We look forward to supporting continued quality services in Darke County.
Michael R. Beasecker
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