Yesterday, Director Casey called together the Individual Service Coordination Organizations
(ISC) and the state associations to discuss the Division’s plans to enhance individual
service coordination within the Developmental Disability System. The intention is to
strengthen self-advocate and family input into decisions that impact their lives. While little
details were shared during the meeting, The Arc supports changes in this area. The Arc has
often questioned why ISC’s don’t play a larger role in state operated developmental centers,
ICFDD’s and Home Based Services. We have also advocated for individuals choosing the ISC
that they want to work with and family members doing their own service coordination.

The Arc believes that Individual Service Coordination is a direct service much the same as
day services, community living, etc…

We look forward to working with Director Casey on this new venture to strengthen
self-advocacy and family input.

Here is The Arc’s national position on Support Coordination:

Support Coordination
Support coordination is critical for finding and coordinating the necessary services, supports
and resources within the community that are required by children and adults with intellectual
and/or developmental disabilities and their families.

Issue

People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families often have a hard
time finding and coordinating the services, supports and resources they need to ensure a
high quality of life and full inclusion in the community. Service systems can be complex,
challenging to navigate and are often critically underfunded. Determining funding sources
for necessary services can be extremely difficult.
In many areas of the country, resources for support coordination, also referred to as
service coordination, are limited or have restrictive financial or diagnostic eligibility criteria.
Some support coordinators have large “caseloads” with more people than they can fully
serve. There may be high staff turnover. Support Coordinators may not be aware of universal
and natural support systems that are available to all citizens.

Position

People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families must have ongoing
access to effective, responsive, affordable, reliable, and culturally appropriate individual
service coordination as needed.
As support coordinators help design, coordinate, and monitor supports and services, they must:
·        Follow the wishes and needs of each individual through a person-centered planning
process;
·        Enable people to explore a full range of options, to include provider options, then identify
and access appropriate services and supports;
·        Develop formal and informal supports (i.e., circles of support) around the individual rather
than try to fit the person into existing services because of availability. Informal supports are
natural supports such as family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors;
·        Represent and advocate for the interests, preferences and dreams of the individual and,
when appropriate, the family;
·        Assist individuals and families in independently coordinating their own supports and
services if they so desire, and in hiring someone of their choice;
·        Be free from conflicts of interest;
·        Support the development and expression of self-determination and self-advocacy; and
·        Share information about desired supports and services as well as system gaps with
funders so that systems become more responsive to people’s desires and needs.

Support coordination must be funded at a level that supports an appropriate caseload.
Support coordinators must be provided with ongoing skills development; opportunities to build
capacity through peer networks; and equipped with up to date, unbiased knowledge of
community resources.

 


Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
 
Tony@www.thearcofil.org