Friday, April 29, 2016
Detractors call State Run Therapeutic Communities "institutions" as though that were a dirty word.
What we have in WA are 4 state-run, campus based, full service, therapeutic communities especially for people with idd. In order to garner the Medicaid matching funds, the legislature has to fund them at levels necessary to pass annual CMS audits. This makes for fewer people without services, fewer people awaiting services in the community-at-large, even if the legislature decides against better funding for group homes, as it has in Illinois.
CHICAGO — Organizations that provide care to people with disabilities are reporting crisis-level shortages of employees needed to feed, bathe and perform other essential tasks for residents in Illinois, a situation that has prompted the closure of some group homes and kept hundreds of families on waiting lists for services."by Vikki Ortiz Healy, Chicago Tribune/TNS April 18, 2016 in "Illinois - Group Homes Struggle to Remain Staffed."
The article goes on to fault less-than-adequate funding in an improving economy, making it expedient for workers to move on to less difficult jobs that pay better. Unfortunately the situation, the risk and reality of underfunding is not confined to Illinois. We have seen similar legislative decisions in WA. Fortunately, we still have our 4 state-run-residential habilitation centers
"The seriousness of a staffing shortage in this arena can't be overstated. I spoke with Tony Paulauski, executive director of advocacy group The Arc of Illinois, and he said: "When staff don't show up, holy cow. People's lives can be in jeopardy. Because of this, there can be medication errors. People aren't able to follow strict dietary requirements. In some cases we're putting health and safety at risk. It's serious stuff." "Staffing Crisis Hurting Essential Services For People With Disabilities"by Rex Huppke, April 13, 2016 Chicago Tribune.
Forclosing the "institutional" option is a set-up for more deprivation, longer waits for services for people with idd.