Updates – DSHS and DDD need to Answer to the Citizens


I am writing to you as a plea to look at the data that I’m presenting and to realize that the information that The Department of Social and Health Services and The Division of Developmental Disabilities have presented has been very misleading in the information that they present.


This frustrates me to no end.


There are many advocates working extremely hard for our citizens with developmental disabilities and due to the inaccuracies of DDD, these advocates are basing much of their work on false information.  This has maybe not created the crisis but has certainly added to it and unless DDD begins to report the data more accurately and truthfully, this crisis will just continue.


DDD is inaccurately reporting the cost of care for high acuity residents when they move from the RHC into a supported living arrangement (see attachment for data).  There may be many issues related to this but whatever the issues are they are not benefitting anyone in our state but actually causing harm and it needs to be addressed.


  • We have already had one citizen who was transferred from Frances Haddon Morgan Center die.


  • Contrary to what Secretary Dreyfus may say, this was not an accident.  Yes, there are accidental deaths but when it is truly an accident are 2 staff people fired and 2 more forced into “resignation?”


  • We hear about how our state has successfully transferred people out of the RHCs in a smooth transition. 


  • I just learned yesterday that the remaining residents who had been at FHMC are only in temporary housing until the 3 houses that will be built for them are started and completed – when is that going to be?  I don’t consider moving people who do not transition well in the first place into temporary housing while their new home is being constructed a smooth, thought out transition.


  • I heard that Secretary Dreyfus toured Rainier School and “saw” many people who she didn’t think should be there. 


  • Looks can be very deceiving and basing this assessment of who belongs and who doesn’t by one quick walk through is far from being able to know which environment is best for that person.


  • Did Secretary Dreyfus do an assessment on these people and talk with their caregivers and learn their history before making her judgment about if they belonged there or not?  I really doubt it and for her to make a statement such as that indicates to me that she is in the wrong profession.


  • Another example is that Secretary Dreyfus told me personally when I questioned her about prohibiting youth under 21 from admission to an RHC and she “assured” me that parents will still have that choice – they can send their child “out of state.”  Is this the type of leadership we need in a program that is supposed to work to help our most vulnerable citizens and their families?


  • Please ask DDD where the results of all their Quality Assurance assessments are –
    • We hear about what is being done but there are no results.  Where are the crisis beds located and how do people access them?  We hear about the funds for these beds and the teams but we don’t hear about where they actually are or how they are functioning.  That’s because they don’t exist.


This is not a system that I consider “functioning well” – in fact, I see this system as a system that is hurting and harming the people who it is supposed to be helping.


Please join me in asking DDD these questions.  These are the questions that need to be asked and these are the questions that will help us to realize that what DDD has been doing has not been working and will be causing more crisis unless someone starts to ask them these questions and get truthful answers.


Please, I’m asking for not only our citizens with developmental disabilities but for our whole state.  The issue does not only affect those with DD but touches every single person in our state. 


I am angry and frustrated with the irresponsibility of our DSHS and DDD programs.  Many people’s lives are at stake and there are many, many people working tirelessly for these same people.  Without the support of the department which is supposedly there so assist them, these people are continually working against a very dysfunctional program.

 Resident Hours Per Day letter and Chart


Missing Costs on EMIS from DDD Reports  – look on this EMIS data from DDD and see what is missing from the reports that DDD publishes.


Please Ask About these Missing Costs

One response from a legislator

“The advocates for both RHCs and community residential care have challenged those studies for years.  I must rely on the objective analysis of my fiscal staff, and not get engaged in the debate between advocacy groups about whose numbers are right or what is wrong with the numbers presented by one group or another.


My main task at the moment is the impossible challenge of balancing our budget.  We have very capable fiscal staff who have culled through the volumes of studies and will provide us with recommendations.”

This response saddens me – for several reasons.  This is not an issue of one advocacy group against another – it’s a fact of the government agency misrepresenting data.  Maybe there is a fine fiscal staff but if they are not given the correct information, how can they analyze it?  Garbage In – Garbage Out.

I’m also upset because if one is really interested in balancing the budget, wouldn’t one assume that you would want to look at accurate financial data?  When it’s handed to you on a plate, all you have to do is look.  This legislator won’t even look.  I’m sorry but my opinion of her has plummeted.

I know there are some very responsible legislators who will look at this information and ask the important questions.  I hope that number is increasing.



2 comments on “Updates – DSHS and DDD need to Answer to the Citizens

  1. The obfuscation of data and the denial of choice typify the behavior of DDD. They use these tactics to divide advocates and confuse law makers. Worst of all it is working.

    Only the hard work of dedicated advocates can eliminate these tactics, and bring relief to all people with developmental disabilities. DSHS/DDD are fossilized in the codes, laws, and philosophies. They can’t even wiggle inside of the legal strait-jack they knit for themselves.

    Only the bravest of law makes will stand up to correct this problem. We must recruit and support them as they make right what destructive ideology and corrupt cost accounting has made wrong.


  2. I am an admin for the Save Our Services coalition – sosmovement.com

    I think this blog asks some great questions that policymakers need to answer before pushing through more drastic cuts to numerous programs for DD, disabled, elderly and mentally ill clients. Our group has been advocating nonstop against these cuts by writing letters to policymakers, meeting them in person, testifying at special sessions and by holding registration/letter writing drives. Any and all groups/individuals are free to join us on these ventures to help raise our voices to Washington’s powers that be. (see website for details of events and meetings).


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