On May 10th, JSDD held its first in-person Family Information Session since before the pandemic. There were more than 35 residential and WAE Center family members in attendance to participate as Linda Press, Executive Director and Harry Klein, WAE Center Director, provided updates on agency activities and shared news about upcoming new projects.
In addition, Danielle Crum, Support Coordination Supervisor & Coordinator of Disability Services, JFS MetroWest and Michael Levinson, Chair, MetroWest ABLE discussed Coordinated Care of MetroWest (CCM). CCM is a service provided to offer short & long-term case management for care plans. It is designed to support individuals when guardians/family members are no longer able to act as advocates for their child/sibling in need of assistance. CCM helps by preparing individuals to develop and assure successful support is in place and monitored. They can help with critical decisions based upon a process that documents the individual’s and family’s preferences.
Linda shared information with families regarding how they could have an impact through advocacy by contacting legislators and expressing the importance of fully funding these critical services.
- NJACP (NJ Association for Community Providers) www.njacp.org website features a toolkit on how to advocate. Choose Advocacy at the top of the webpage and then select the Toolkit in the dropdown.
- www.ANCOR.org, a national service provider advocacy organization also host resources to reach out to legislators. On the top right, choose Take Action.
- *Both sites will assist you to identify your legislators and provide sample letters. They make it very simple to contact the legislators in your district who will be asked to vote on measures that impact funding.
- Also connect with www.arcnj.org, choose Public Policy and choose e-Advocacy Network in the red box that appears after the first paragraph.
Of particular interest to families was upcoming plans for improving recreational options and implementing an increased schedule of enrichment classes.
There were also questions regarding individualization for those preferring something other than a traditional group home or supervised apartment model. Linda encouraged families to reach out to her directly to discuss how that might be accomplished.
It was exciting and energizing to be back together. We are looking forward to offering these meetings in the future to provide information and resources to the families with whom we partner to provide the highest quality of services.