We have all lost a great deal of services and are at risk of loosing more.
If our state continues along the route it is going, with the human experiment of using our most vulnerable citizens as subjects who have not even consented to being involved, by evicting them from their homes and moving them into more restrictive environments in a different community – we ALL Lose.
This has been said to be a cost saving measure – it has now been proven and acknowledged that this will not save any money but will in fact cost more. How then, if this experiment is more costly than the services these folks have and are happy and satisfied with, why then, are Senator Adam Kline and others continuing down this path? Are they too proud to admit they may have made a mistake? They say they care about our citizens, they say they are concerned about those without any services. Their actions do not support what they say.
It is really time to eat that pride and stop this process before more people are hurt and more people lose services or go into crisis. It’s not too late for most.
Unfortunately, it is too late for those 21 and under.
Our state has taken away a life-saving choice for our children which some of you may need in the future. Regardless of what is happening now with your child, there may come a time in your child’s life in which you may need to consider out of home placement for his/her safety and health. This is not an easy choice to make at any time but sometimes it’s the best choice.
Right now there are several children 21 and under who have stabilized in the Residential Habilitation Center (RHC)because they now have the support they require to stay safe. These families have requested admission but our state is denying them admission to this life sustaining support system only for the fact that they are under 21. There are no alternatives for these families and they now have to fight and hire lawyers so that their children may remain safe. DSHS continues to deny admission.
Please, for the sake of all, write to your legislator, the DD Service System Task Force (address below) and ask them to repeal SSB5459 which prohibited those under 21 from accessing these services. Also, write to tell them that you support a continuum of care which includes the RHC – regardless if you ever think that you will need it – because it is the safety net for all of us.
As a parent, being told that there is no place in our community which can care for your child and for you to call the police if there is a crisis is not something that any parent, particularly a parent of a young teen with a developmental disability, wants to hear – yet this is happening and has been happening because our state has taken away the freedom of choice as guaranteed in the US DD Act and the US Supreme Court Decision of Olmstead.
We need to preserve these choices so that all people can have a safe environment in which to live. Even if this is not the choice that you would make, it is a choice that many families do make because they know it is the least restrictive environment for their child and a community in which their child can be safe, supported and participate in life to their fullest.
You can write to the DD Service System Task Force via Brittany Yunker – her email is Brittany.Yunker@leg.wa.gov
Or visit the Website for the Task Force at: