Hi All, I would like to impress upon all of us that we need to support the safety net and improve it. The cuts to our services have been devastating – not necessarily for the reasons that many advocates claim though. For those with high support needs, the institutions (Fircrest, Rainier, Lakeland Village and Yakima Valley School) are not only the safest and least restrictive environments but also the most comprehensive and cost effective.
These facilities are not only life sustaining but life saving and for all of you with younger kids, it is critical that we support these facilities. As a parent of a child who needs these services, I would hate for anyone else to have to go through the trauma which our family did in order to have safe care for our son. Many advocates for community are not telling the whole truth – they do not know what it takes to support a child with extremely high support care needs – there are not supports in the community and it all falls to the family which then disintegrates and then what?
This is a total shame that our state does not support the care for those – and particularly for those under 21. The new state law will be going into effect and no one under 21 will be able to be admitted to the RHC. That may be fine if there was someplace else but there’s not. All those crisis beds and stabilization plans that DDD promised have not materialized.
I can tell you that at age 14 when we were told that no more hospitalizations would be approved for him our only option given to us by DDD was to call the police – that would mean that our son would be taken to jail – all because the DDD system failed him.
Our son is a huge success story and that is due to the RHC. We cannot afford to allow these facilities to continue to be dismantled. What will happen when your child has a crisis? You will want these services and we need these services for our community.
We need to support a continuum of care to have services for ALL - whatever their support needs.