Ronnie Cohn has submitted to the Court the Fourth Annual Report of the Monitor. Since taking over as the Monitor in July, the Monitor has been engaged with Federal Court intervention to maintain services for Ligas Class Members without a state budget. The Monitor has also witnessed firsthand the underfunded community system which is attempting to provide person-centered community services for Class Members. The Monitor has met with Class Members, their families, providers and advocates which are an important part of this report.
The Arc applauds the Court Monitor for identifying key areas of the Consent Decree that must be addressed to insure full compliance with the Decree.
From the Monitor’s Report:
The Monitor’s first six months have been focused upon several major and interrelated issues which directly impact the Consent Decree’s implementation, including:
- Lack of a budget for the State of Illinois resulting in uncertainties for beneficiaries of the Consent Decree and their families, agencies, staff, providers of all types of services, and advocates;
- Low wages creating a staffing crisis for providers of all types of services in their efforts to recruit and maintain adequate staffing and appropriate training for staff with existing inadequate funding for wages and high staff turnover levels;
- Initiation of waiver services still pending for more than one year, and for as much as three or more years, for 153 class members who have been selected between March, 2012 and March, 2014 via the PUNS process as well as for 101 Ligas ICFDD class members seeking DD Waiver services;
- Limited availability of small CILAs in certain geographic areas and for individuals with more intense medical, behavioral or physical needs;
- Inadequate availability of flexible, person-centered, integrated day activities or employment for individuals seeking such opportunities;
- Reported potential for inadequate availability of resources or implementation of the Consent Decree during the second half of Fiscal Year 2016.
Despite the Defendants’ ongoing commitment to compliance with the Decree,
Mr. Records noted in his Third Annual Report that “resources for implementation, however, are significantly strained” and that there were “several concerns identified, which, if not effectively addressed, could result in non-compliance”. The current Monitor’s experience in Fiscal Year 2016 thus far is that the status of such resources has significantly worsened. In the current report, there is a finding of noncompliance in this area.
Court Monitor Cohn make her first speech on the Ligas Court Monitor’s Report at The Arc’s Leadership Conference at the Hilton in Lisle, February 4 & 5, 2016.
The Arc of Illinois
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Frankfort, IL 60423