Thursday, May 19, 2005

What's the matter with the Self-Directed Services Program, Part III

May 18, 2005


My professional angst regarding the development caught a second wind. I always do share my winds, so here’s the breeze: What if SDSP passes, is implemented and still doesn’t happen. The way this could be so? If the protection features built in create an environment in which the control that clients have over their services actually declined.

Here’s the new data: Regional Center (RC) Service Coordinators (SCs) are intended to review monthly whether potentially very broad language from the clients Individual Program Plan (IPP- I know, I know) to decide whether it was being implemented appropriately. Under the current program, SCs have more frequent interaction, more discretion to intervene and more ways that they are accountable for outcomes. A rational SC who sees SDS as values-neutral would take more control of client services under the new proposal than the current system.

The essential point is that Self-determination will not achieve it’s stated goals unless it transfers authority to clients which simply won’t happen unless responsibility transfers as well. The best and worst professionals in the system regularly circumvent controlling regulations and can be expected to do so in opposition to the purpose of SDS as long as they remain responsible for all the client outcomes. It has to be in everyone’s interest that the client controls services or else we’ll have fake self-determination to go with fake entitlement.

I know this looks ugly in print, but ideally under SDS, the client with their FMS and Service Broker have to have sole responsibility for things that Regional Centers are now accountable for. Examples might include the following:
ÿ Preventing morbidity and mortality,
ÿ Decisions to work or not work and how and where,
ÿ Progress that is or is not made (clients must be allowed a learning curve,) and
ÿ The extent to which the individual participates in the broader community.
This doesn’t mean that clients in SDS should not be counted toward all policy goals, just that RCs shouldn’t get credit or blame for the outcome.

What makes SDS bold, is the trust it places in people with disabilities to serve their own best interests. What makes so many current programs so sucky is the failure to trust the client. Here are a coupl

1. SDS participants should count against a separate performance contract for their Regional Centers. The new draft of the proposal, makes a good start on developing a new one, but doesn’t yet separate from the old one Taken a step further, vis-à-vis an SDS client, RCs should be more responsible for providing control to SDS clients and less responsible for traditional policy outcomes. Appropriate language might state that all the metrics now used for RCs will be reported to and recorded by the Department, but not apply to the RCs performance contact. The SDS outcomes can be used against those from the performance contracts to measure the success of both programs as compared to one another and provide policy guidance into the future.
2. Clarify new roles. Limit what SCs may do to a very simple role that only makes sense if we are empowering clients. Limit service providers’ responsibility for documentation, to clarify that services delivered under SDS are accountable to the client alone (and through the client to the RC for purposes of documentation. Everyone affiliated with an agency remains a mandatory reporter, and obviously, the documentation left must allow for reasonable assurance that services are being rendered. Paperwork requirements that document anything other than services actually rendered should be discontinued where service providers are concerned.


Anonymous said...


Will have to read and ponder your latest missive later.
Tomorrow 5/20/05 Townhall meeting online @ 1pm, but earlier in day we will be at Assemblywoman Chu's FTF townhall on Govs budget being hosted in Monterey Park council chambers.
A Riddle---
When is DSD not SD(S)?
When it is run by the parents(DDS) and the children(RCs) who do not want to allocate, appropriately, monies to developmentally disabled clients for unknown and bizarre reasons.
I live and see
and Civil Rights violations
"only" because my son, born in California, is disabled.
The laws are there.
The money is there, in spades.
But an unwilling, reluctant, and ethically challenged service delivery system fears, and cares not enough, what community derived benefit is transferred to DD.
Too little, or no return on taxpayers investment of $3 billion annually intended to find my son and the other 180,000 DD in their communities.
Let's ask the SD Pilot Project 145 their thoughts to choose new SDS or POS (purchase of service) directed interpretation of the Lanterman Act.
I will continue to advocate for a MUCH better service delivery system in the Regional Center system and survive on the few supports we get in the community because an institutional mindset still prevails.
What is the opposite of winning the California Lottery?
Being a disabled Californian in 2006.
That is the challenge for all of us to change.... step by step, inch by inch.
Regional Centers are/were supposed to do case management, not money mangement....
but if they typically do both poorly
give us Self Directed client centered oversight that is cost effective and cost effective in the aggregate.....clients working with programs, service providers, and product vendors so millions of dollars(versus thousands) can be saved and invested immediately.
Wherein lie the rights and resources for developmentally disabled in California?
The public perception that "maybe they are too hard to work with and cost too much to help" is something I have heard frequently this year.
This is negative campaign rhetoric coming from halls of government and the agencies they fund. The public repeats what it hears from the sources.

Some day I hope my son will just be disabled and we don't have the constant burden to have to constantly prove that.
This is no longer about money
It is wholely about control.
We will only prevail working together, but never 145 or 800 at a time.
Let's see how the Chesbro proposal evolves as a no confidence vote to the Department's proposal is warranted.

Doug said...

Welcome back, anonymous, and thanks, as always, for adding so much to this site. My regards to Dr. Chu and her staff, by the way. Like you, I'm increasingly looking to Chesbro's staff to fix the SDS proposal.

Jet said...

Hi Doug;

Just wanted to thank you for stopping by and commenting on God Dem. Although far from California myself, it was a pleasure reading through on your topic. Keep up the good work.

Doug said...

Hey, Jet! Most bloggers leave their comments on the Waking Ambrose site. Thanks for dropping by this one and thanks for reading through. Takes some fortitude even to lie about that.

Enrique BAVA said...

you certainly are more popular as a dictionary hawker! and yes, it takes a lot of effort even to lie about having read this other part of your internet efforts. It is quite worthwhile. keep up the good work.

Doug said...

Papi Brujo! Gracias por leser.