Family Advisory Council Gathers System Movers and Shakers

Gaining strength and support from each other while learning and sharing is the hallmark of the DODD Family Advisory Council (FAC), and yesterday’s meeting was another great example of this synergy. The FAC meeting at the Columbus Developmental Center included an administration update from Director John Martin and Deputy Director Patrick Stephan, as well as information describing Ohio Shared Living services (billed as Adult Family Living and Adult Foster Care services), Medicaid Buy-In, and several administrative rules and training updates.

Residential services provider Chris Kristanich introduced real family stories illustrating Ohio Shared Living services as an option for individuals to experience a residential setting as a member of a family home. Attending the meeting were Bonnie and Evelyn, family care givers, and Jeff, an individual who lives with Evelyn’s family. She explained, “Home sharing is an under-utilized and undervalued option! With shared living, Jeff is a member of our family – he’s a son to me – and I am mom to him. There’s no visiting … just living! Living as part of a natural family – with all the natural consequences.”

Opening their hearts and homes. (l. to r. Bonnie, Jeff, Evelyn) Jeff says, “My life has never been better than it is now, with Evelyn and our family.” Bonnie also has opened her home to a young woman who was in need of a stable family home.  She says, “It has been good for both of us.  Not always easy, but that’s the way it is with any family.”

Opening their hearts and homes.
(l. to r. Bonnie, Jeff, Evelyn)
Jeff says, “My life has never been better than it is now, with Evelyn and our family.”
Bonnie also has opened her home to a young woman who was in need of a stable family home. She says, “It has been good for both of us. Not always easy, but that’s the way it is with any family.”

In describing the Department’s focus on strategic planning, and learning from other states’ experiences, Director Martin observed, “There are no arbitrary lines in the sand as we explore what can improve our statewide service system. We are exploring many ideas and approaches that may help us to improve the number of people living and working in community-based settings. It is unrealistic to think that that there is one answer for everyone. Not 100 percent of the people we serve are going to be successful in the same kind of setting, and your input to us here at these Family Advisory Council meetings reinforces that understanding. We are grateful to you for your support in this process.”

Patrick Stephan added, “When we look at the new rules created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the themes of community integration are pretty consistent. What all states are looking at is, “How can we make informed judgments about what an integrated setting is, and how can it be funded and supported in a given community?”

Wrapping up the packed agenda, DODD Family Advocate Peggy Martin noted, “I have been doing this work for a long time, and I must say that I learn something new at these meetings every time. Thank you for actively engaging with our speakers and with each other – that’s exactly what helps the system move forward with the needs of families in mind.”  

Family Advisory Council meetings are open to anyone with a family member served by Ohio’s developmental disabilities system.

For more information, contact Peggy.Martin@dodd.ohio.gov.

Check out the new FAC Facebook page.

 

 

Family Advisory Council meetings are open to anyone with a family member served by Ohio’s developmental disabilities system.

For more information, contact Peggy.Martin@dodd.ohio.gov

Check out the new FAC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FamilyAdvisory/.

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