Governor Malloy announced that his 2018/2019 biennium budget proposal released earlier this week includes $3.8 million in funding to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to support the Intellectual Disability (ID) Partnership Initiative, in addition to $1.0 million in bond funding for capital improvements.
“It is of the utmost importance that we create and promote meaningful opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully participate as valued members of their communities,” Governor Malloy said. “The new programs and services proposed under the ID Partnership Initiative will help us accomplish those goals, while at the same time continuing to modernize our system and encourage innovation in services.”
The multi-pronged ID Partnership Initiative aims to address the DDS waiting list and explore innovative programs that create a broader continuum of services.
The proposal allocates:
$1.0 million in funding for services that support targeted placements off the waiting list into existing vacancies in Community Companion Homes.
$1.0 million for pilot programs to explore best practices. Possible considerations for programs include expanding and revising respite services, programs to prevent emergency placements and emergency visits, and strengthening wrap-around services.
$1.8 million to support rate parity among providers. This will help stabilize providers undergoing conversion of DDS grant-funded services to Medicaid fee-for-service payments. This will allow rates for the lower rate providers to be increased without having to reduce funding from higher rate providers.
$1.0 million in bond funding to convert group homes to Supportive Housing units, Residential Care Homes, or Community Companion Homes for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
“These additional resources will help us explore and deliver better supports for some of our most vulnerable residents and their families,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “We are strengthening direct-care services and housing opportunity, and examining how to improve overall care for individuals with developmental disabilities. It’s an important step for our state agencies and will help families and providers.”
The ID Partnership Initiative also includes several no cost components. DDS will be tasked with studying group home capacity by examining the system, including a review of individuals on the waiting and planning lists.
This will help identify need and create additional capacity by removing low quality housing stock, with the ultimate goal of redistributing funds to lower level housing supports through attrition.
The ID Partnership will be charged with examining how fire codes, scope of practice, licensure, regulations and other policies impact consumer choice and independence, and ultimately resource allocations.
Finally, emphasis will be placed on long-term family supports such as the continued education of parents and guardians regarding Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts and other special needs trusts options, as well as other resources available to families.
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