Dear Friends and Families,
We have all endured shifts or changes in how services are delivered to those we care about. The Department of Human Services/Division of Developmental Disabilities is proposing significant changes to the Independent Service Coordination (ISC) system.
Options & Advocacy is one of 17 Independent Service Coordination agencies that serve the state. These are the programs that serve children and adults with lifelong intellectual/developmental disabilities. It is through these programs that we are able to put people on the state database known as the PUNS. It is through these programs that we monitor the health and safety of people who live in group homes as well as those who receive Home Based Support services. We assure that their rights are being respected and that they have the services and supports they need which are identified in their Individual Support Plan. It is through these programs that we secure funding for those individuals who meet the state criterion for crisis services. This includes funding for residential services and supports. The state is seeking to consolidate the regions for these ISC services. The strong possibility exists that we will become part of a much larger region. What does this mean? It means that we will lose the things that make us unique in what we do. We will not have the seamless transition to this program for families who have a child with a lifelong disability that has received services in our Child & Family Connections program. We will also not have that seamless transition for children and adults who have autism spectrum diagnosis to get into the PUNS and receive the family support and educational advocacy.
The really tricky part of this is that we really do not know what this is going to look like.
We have an opportunity to give public comment until October 31, 2016. That process is by e-mailing Debbi.Garrett-Smith@illinois.gov
The Notice of Funding Opportunity will be released on November 30, 2016. At that point we will know what the regions are.
Included here are documents that help you understand how you can advocate for Options & Advocacy, a letter that I submitted as part of the public comment process, the DHS webpage that describes all of this, and a map of the Independent Service Coordination agencies.
Please support us by sending your comments to Debbi.Garrett-Smith@illinois.gov