Public forum for families, providers, and advocates
Thurs., Aug. 2 in Pewaukee
FORUM FLYER (Word)
Waukesha County, Wis. – Deep cuts to residential services for people with disabilities are being imposed by managed care organizations, in some cases by as much as 25 percent. A free public forum will be held 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thurs., Aug. 2, 2012 at Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee, Wis., for families, residents, guardians, Adult Family Home providers, and advocates to learn more, voice their experiences, and understand their rights to challenge the changes that will result from these cuts.
“This Advocacy Forum has two goals. The first is to provide people with the information they need to become good advocates for these services. The second is to give those who care about strong community services a chance to voice their concerns,” said Thomas Cook, executive director, Rehabilitation for Wisconsin in Action, one of the event organizers.
There are many financial benefits to supporting people safely in their community. Adult Family Homes (both private and corporate) and Community Based Residential Facilities (Group Homes) provide long-term, non-institutional care and services to adults with dementia; developmental and intellectual disabilities; mental health problems; physical disabilities; and traumatic brain injury.
In recent years, the managed care organizations serving Waukesha County have cut funding for services that are essential for residential providers to operate safe environments, offer a decent quality of life, and allow residents to get to work. Funding cuts also affect direct care staffing levels, compensation and threaten the continued operation of many small, community-based homes. The managed care organizations involved have cut as much as 25 percent of funding based on comparisons with service costs in other, unnamed areas of Wisconsin. Some of the reductions were based on a newly-designed assessment tool that advocates believe does not adequately measure the residential service needs of individuals with disabilities.
Residential Services Association of Wisconsin and Rehabilitation for Wisconsin in Action are co-sponsors of the forum. Forum speakers include Thomas Cook, executive director, RFW in Action, and disability law attorney Rock Pledl, Pledl & Cohn. Attendees will learn how Wisconsin's managed care program, called Family Care, compares to other states; problematic issues in the program that advocates can help resolve; consumer rights in Family Care and how to exercise them.