To Our Staff, Friends, and Families Who Participated in Our Statewide Advocacy Campaign
Dear Friends Who Called Governor Wolf in the DSP Campaign,
A sincere thank you to all who participated in the Pennsylvania Advocacy & Resources Campaign to FixtheDSPCrisis. While we would have loved to see the inclusion of a $60 million increase for rates to fund a DSP Wage Increase, we can take heart in knowing your collective action resulted in raising the profile of Intellectual Disability and Autism, resulting in an increase of $74 million for the ODP Budget increasing needed services for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. The budget includes full annualization of all people enrolled for service this current year and in FY 18/19 and:
•800 students graduating in 2018 in the Person/Family Directed Support Waiver and the Community Living Waiver;
•700 students graduating in 2019 who will enroll in the Person/Family Directed Support Waiver and the Community Living Waiver prior to graduation to assure continuity of support;
•40 individuals from the interest list to the Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP); and
•25 individuals transitioning from State Centers to the community.
PAR, along with the ID/A Coalition had strongly supported these budget additions; and will work for their enactment in the House and Senate.
PAR Members and Staff will also continue to work with House and Senate Members to find additional funding to support a rate/wage increase for Direct Support Professionals.
With our team of PAR Members, Staff, Families, and Direct Support Professionals, we will meet with House and Senate Leaders and continue to tell the story of how our dedicated workforce must be placed on a path to a Living Wage. The Governor’s Office contacted PAR and shared that “the Governor is committed to helping direct support professionals over the long term, but was not in a position to accommodate the request in this specific proposal”. We will continue to work with the Governor and his staff to develop a long term plan and solution to establish a Path to a Living Wage.
The Budget Process is a process often compared to a Marathon. The journey starts with the first leg of the run comes with the Governor’s Staff offering a budget based on available revenue; then the House and Senate offer their versions of a budget; then they work out their differences into a joint budget that is then presented to the Governor for signature, veto or allowing it to become law without the Governor’s signature.
At every step of this process, please know that your collective efforts make a huge difference. Our cause is critical, just and fair. We will continue with your help, support and enthusiasm.
Thank you to all who are helping on this journey.
Indian Creek Foundation’s official statement regarding the “Community Rule” and its potential impact on our consumers and their families:
On January 16, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule for Home and Community-Based Settings (HCBS). These requirements reflect CMS’ intent that individuals receiving services and supports through Medicaid Waivers receive services in settings which are integrated in and support full access to the greater community.
For the last several years, ICF has been communicating the potential impact of these new regulations with our families and preparing for any changes that may result. It is our desire to make sure that all of our consumers, their families and caregivers are fully aware to the choices that will be available to them. Many of our staff and families have attended local workshops so they could learn more on a first-hand basis.
ICF’s board and key staff leadership have been very involved in this transition and will continue to work to stay ahead of the process. While we realize that this is a great source of stress and concern for those that we serve, ICF is committed to guiding each of our families to a positive outcome through these changes.