Universal Kinetic Park – Phase 1

We are rolling out our Phase 1 for our Universal Kinetic Park at Fircrest.

Phase 1 will be the survey, detailed construction design for the Pedestrian Promenade – the backbone and community connection for the whole campus.   Fircrest is a beautiful campus community which is home to over 200 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  In addition to our long term residents, we also provide short term and respite care for others from the surrounding community.

Help us with our vision for an active, thriving community hub for our residents, the people who love and care for them and for the local community.  We can only do this with your support!

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Park Design

Help us transform the narrow, cracked, uneven sidewalks left over from the old Seattle Naval Hospital to a wide, smooth and ADA accessible Pedestrian Promenade.  The Pedestrian Promenade will be a winding walkway, inviting people to enjoy walking and the sights and activities along the way.  In addition to the community connections of the Pedestrian Promenade, we will also pave walkways from the main corridor to the entrances of each home.  Currently, this is a muddy path with puddles for the majority of our year in Seattle.

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As you can see Fircrest is a beautiful campus – but it does not have ADA accessible walkways even though it is home to over 200 residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 The sidewalks pictured below are hazards.  We need to remedy the situation.

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Please contribute to our campaign for Phase 1 –

All donations go directly to the cause – no overhead!  

You know your dollars will go to a great cause. 


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Why didn’t you use your award?

92% of the families who received Individual Family Support funds used less than 80% of their award.  41% used nothing.

I want to ask these families why they didn’t use these funds.  I cannot imagine that they didn’t need the money so there has to be some reason why these families did not access these allowed funds that were awarded to them to help with the care of their family member with developmental disabilities.

IFS Level

# clients

Current Award

Number of clients and the percentage of the award they used in the plan year

0%

1-20% 21-40% 41-60% 61-80% 81-100%

1

141

2000

76

24

12

10

6

13

2

319

3000

144

60

42

32

18

23

3

485

4000

176

108

74

65

28

34

4

203

6000

74

39

28

24

20

18

 total

1148

470

231

156

131

72

88

This chart was taken from the Rule Change WSR 13-17-062

WSR 13-17-062 (1)

I cannot believe that these families did not need these funds yet this is apparently what DDA believes.  Without knowing why these funds were not used, how does DDA know that the families who unused funds will be re-distributed to will be able to use these funds?

Or is this just an attempt to “serve” the unserved without actually “serving’ them.  Looks good on paper but in reality is nothing.

Please contact me regarding information you would like to share regarding your IFS funds.  I am collecting responses (can me anonymous) to make a report.

1.  What was your award amount?

2.  How old is your child?

3.  What is the child’s disability?

4.  What did you use the funds for?

5.  Were funds denied for services or equipment you requested?  If so, what was the reason?

6.  Were you able to find services that you needed?

7.  Was the lack of service providers or quality of service providers an issue in being able to utilize these funds?

If you are willing to answer the questions above, I would appreciate it.  This will help with insight into the problems with this program and how to help those in need.

You can contact me at:

becausewecareWA@gmail.com

Rule changes to serve “the unserved”

rule making

 

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) has posted immediate rule changes to increase the capacity of families enrolled in the Individual Family Support Program (IFS).  The reason behind this change is to “enable families to continue caring for their family members in their own homes and help stabilize families and individuals who are experiencing increased caregiving stress and crisis by providing respite from their caregiving duties.” I wholeheartedly support the idea behind this rule  change but also understand that this is an attempt of too little, too late and does not even address the real issue.

DDA states that the families receiving funds at this time are not utilizing their full “awards”.  DDA reports that only 55% of the IFS funds were used for respite and that  only 8% of the total number of families have used 81-100% of their awards.  (see attached for full explanation and percentage of funds utilized) WSR 13-17-062 Rule Change for IFS

It is extremely unfortunate for our families in need that the right question is not being asked and therefore, the solution DDA proposes will not address the problem.

The right question is – When you have families in need and they are awarded funds for services which would help relieve some of their crisis, why are they not using the funds provided?

Asking this question might give some answers to the problem.   DDA skipped this important question in determining a solution. DDA has concluded that since these families are not using the funds, they don’t need them and so DDA has decided to reduce the award and give the unused portion to other families in need.  On the surface, this is a logical solution, but again, it is not the answer to the question that needed to be asked.

The real problem is that our state has put a limit on the number of caregiving agencies families are allowed to use with these funds. These contracts are only opened up every 3 years so no matter how much money is awarded,  we do not have caregivers who the state will allow these families to use these funds for.  We do have caregivers available, but since the state has closed their contracts, these families in crisis can not access the use of these qualified caregivers.

I know this for several reasons – as a family who had been awarded funds for respite and not being able to hire a contracted caregiver I was well aware of the situation in the family.   The funds were useless without a caregiver to use them for.  In no way did this mean that we did not need a caregiver  – it meant that there were no qualified, contracted caregivers available.  This not only drove us into deeper crisis.

Now I work for a Home Health Care Agency.  We are licensed, bonded, run extensive background checks on our employees and all caregivers are certified nursing assistants who are supervised by a registered nurse.  I was excited to work for this locally owned and operated agency for several reasons  – one of which was that I could be part of the solution (or so I thought) to the caregiving crisis experienced by our families.

What I found out was that DDA contracts  (although supposedly the waivers are participant driven with respect to choice of providers) were not available.  We were informed that Roads to Community Living, COPES and the New Freedom waiver had sufficient caregivers to serve their clients.  We were denied a contract with the Health Care Authority based on a WAC which pertained to agencies which had their contracts terminated ( given this was our first application this WAC did not even pertain to our agency).  We still have not had an answer to our inquiries and are bounced between various people – no one being able to give accurate information.

 

No wonder our families are in crisis – the Department which is there to help them and navigate them through crisis does does not know their own rules, policies and how to connect a quality care agency to those in need.

So, DDA has a long way to go in trying to solve this problem.  Given that they do not even know the questions to ask to investigate what the problem is and make up solutions to non-existent problems, there is little hope for improvement.