Deinstitutionalization – Risks now outweigh Benefits

More horrible budget news today and I really don’t know what to say – how much more can we take?  People are already dying due to this crisis and the plan that Governor Gregoire put out today guarantees that more of our precious loved ones will die.

I am also continually shocked by the misinformation that our Governor is basing some of these disastrous decisions on.  Most notably is the false information that closing our Residential Habilitation Centers (RHCs) will save money.  The reality is that this will cost more money and more lives.  We have already experienced this in the process of closing Frances Haddon Morgan Center this year.

There has been one documented death so far.  There have been several injuries to residents and many of the residents who have transferred from Frances Haddon Morgan Center to Fircrest are experiencing difficulties.  It’s not only the residents who have transferred but the residents who were already living there are experiencing increased anxiety and behavior issues.

I cannot imagine what many people who are living in community homes must be feeling – fearing for their lives with no safety net there for support.

I have attached a chart which documents true costs of care in a variety of settings.  This data is taken from the DSHS EMIS report for December  2009 –  Dec 2010.  The data for the Supported Living Programs is taken from the Certified Residential Care Cost Reports that each agency must submit every year to DDD.  These are the 2010 reports.

Some very interesting data is clear:

The RHCs are THE MOST COST EFFECTIVE and COMPREHENSIVE care for some of our most vulnerable citizens.  This chart does not even include the cost of food, healthcare and most habilitation services for our citizens with disabilities.

Take a look and see – let me know if you have any questions.  Cost of Care Measure

Opinion published in The Stand Risks of Deinstitutionalization now outweigh benefits

It is also interesting to note the profits that many of these agencies make.  It would be great to use some of that money for improved services to more people.

One comment on “Deinstitutionalization – Risks now outweigh Benefits

  1. Tami Giles of ARROW (autismhelp4wa) writes:

    Geez, the author is such an ignoramous. I hope someone responds to her with one of these stories on the Frances Hadden Morgan center. All you have to do is go to KOMO TV’s website and search for the center’s name to see unexplained deaths, including a pica death, plus $305K stolen by employees, plus de-habilitation when they decided to not send the kids to public school. There’s no “habilitation” going on in these centers, and residents never move back to the community unless parents force the move.

    Seriously, the writer is a complete dork- her little commentary is so full of unsubstantiated non-realities.

    In fact, back in 2005 when KOMO investigated the death of 4 residents and the rape of another, I crusaded on behalf odf our kids, and asked members of my list-serve write and call Tracey Vedder when they were airing their report “Death and Denial”. and many did! (I’m sure I still have the e-mails)

    Theres the avalanche of nightmares at FHMC – I just copied a few here- feel free to send her these:

    BTW- You can STILL watch the KOMO TV investigative report “Death and Denial” at the KOMO link I’ve provided:

    Dear Autismhelp4wa,

    Thank you for your response above that you posted to the Autism King listserve. I wonder why you did not contact me personally also since my email address was posted.

    I will respond to you with facts – facts which you are unaware of and facts that may have gone by you in reading the opinion essay that I wrote.

    Which unsubtantiated realiaties are you refering to when you reference my commentary. I would like to know so that I can give you the actual data and resources.

    I have gone through many of the Washington State Audits, read the reports from DDD, researched the assessment studies, researched the EMIS data provided from DSHS, researched the Certifed Residential Program Care Cost Reports, and have been a victim of DDD’s denial of services to my 13 year old son – I’ve been there and I know what I’m talking about.

    I would suggest you take a look at the video that is posted at for a glimpse into just a part of my life with our son.

    Please, rather then spewing nasty comments about me on your listserve, write to me directly and I’d be more than happy to share the resources and facts with.

    Thank you,



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