It is our objective to provide accurate information about Governor Quinn’s Rebalancing Initiative. As a result, The Arc has created a Going Home Facebook Page and will soon unveil a Going Home Website. We want individuals, families and providers to be able to access accurate information about the rebalancing initiative. We also want to be a resource to answer questions about rebalancing and portray successful transitions of people to the community.
Please “like” us on the Going Home Facebook Page today!
The Arc was pleased to be represented at the first meeting on the Jacksonville Developmental Center Closure Advisory Committee. It was a positive and productive first meeting.
What follows are our notes on that meeting and items we thought you would be interested in hearing about. These notes are not a transcript, rather our best understanding of the conversation that Director Casey facilitated. If there are any errors, I take responsibility for the information communicated here.
Director Casey was pleased to convene this committee and hoped to have done it sooner. He told those attending that the advisory committee was not there to discuss the pros and cons of closure but how best to implement it. He also stated that they were not there to discuss the Murray closure, but that there will be a similar advisory closure committee for Murray.
These advisory committee meetings are open to anyone who wants to attend, and the Director will schedule a time during the meeting for comments from individuals not on the advisory committee.
The committee will not publicly discuss specific individuals or use specific individuals’ names. Director Casey will be available afterwards if families want to discuss their family members with him privately.
The Director introduced Steve Perkins as the new acting director of the Jacksonville Developmental Center (JDC).
There will be JDC Advisory Committee meetings in September, October and November.
The JDC closure is still set for October 31st. At this point, transitions are not happening as quickly as planned. CRA is committed to taking the time necessary to ensure the level of detailed planning that goes into each plan for a successful transition.
The assessment process for all JDC residents should be done late next week.
There are just under 40 people on the list of families who refused to participate in the assessment process. DHS is still discussing how this will be handled.
The current Transition Report shows the JDC census as of August 1st at 157, with 7 individuals in pre-transition status. In April, the census was 181. Twenty people have moved to CILAs of 4 beds or less; 1 person to Home-Based Support services; 1 person to a CILA of greater than 4 beds, and 2 people to ICF-DDs. Eight of these people had private guardians, 15 Office of State Guardian and 1 person is legally competent (own guardian).
As of August 3rd, 107 person-centered plans are completed. There are 130 independent assessments completed. Sixty planning budgets were completed by CRA.
Here are some of the questions asked by members of the advisory committee:
Why did so many individuals go to CILAs of 4 persons or less? Director Casey said this is what people and their guardians have chosen. Also, a number of guardians have made late requests to see their loved one’s new home once, first or multiple times. This is another factor in the transition process being slower than anticipated.
Will DDD allow placement in other SODC’s? Director Casey: Yes, but they may not always be able to accommodate at the SODC of choice. (i.e., if a person doesn’t fit in with the general population; for example, someone who wants Fox and has severe psychiatric issues but most of the people who live there are medically fragile.)
Who makes the final decision on transition? Director Casey stated that contrary to the article in the March newsletter which implied that Director Casey did, the Director does not. The Director only comes in to resolve an issue. He doesn’t make the final decision. Transition is the guardian’s decision, and the Director emphasized that he recognizes that it’s the guardian’s right.
Can you tell us about JDC monitoring and incidents? Joe Turner: We track issue/incident indicators for both SODCs and Community Providers that people have already transitioned to. So far there has been no police involvement, elopements, deaths, agency specific issues, re-admissions to SODCs for either setting. There has been one behavior management issue in a community provider, six hospital incidents (admissions or ER visits) and four psychiatric hospitalizations from community providers.
Can specific monitoring of an individual be extended? Director Casey: Yes, if you need a longer monitoring process, they’ll try to meet the need. Might be different for different individuals
Are all providers licensed by DDD? Some families had the idea from the CRA materials that providers would not need to be licensed. The Director stated: This is not true. Every placement will be made to a licensed agency. He modified that slightly to say that a person had chosen an unlicensed living situation (although it was linked to a licensed provider) and that transition was respected.
Who does CRA report to? Director Casey made it very clear that CRA reports to him and DHS, not the other way around.
Is a host family an option in the JDC closure? Director Casey: It falls under another licensing structure, and this option is not something that has happened yet.
Director Casey said he will not hide when there are problems with the rebalancing and will inform the advisory committee if a transition is not going well. There has been only one significant event so far – the incident that’s been in the media where a person’s leg was broken. It was declared neglect but not egregious neglect. Egregious neglect is not just accidental, more of an intentional element.
Planning is already being done for the Murray closure, but people will not begin to move out of Murray until the closure at JDC is finished.
Next meeting date is tentatively Wednesday, September 19th at the Jacksonville Developmental Center.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423