Department of Justice Settlement Agreement

Candice Lang
Legislative Lead

On September 30, 2015, the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) held a stakeholder meeting to provide updates on the Department of Justice (DOJ) 2012 Settlement Agreement. This agreement provided a resolution to DOJ’s investigation of Virginia’s training centers and community programs and the state’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead Act with respect to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

One of the biggest challenges to coming into compliance with the settlement agreement is building the infrastructure and service capacity necessary to support the Intellectual/Developmental Disability (I/DD) system. To address this, there are requests for proposals to seek providers in Region III to provide innovative services to support individuals leaving Southwestern Virginia Training Center (SWVTC) who have challenging behaviors, to seek providers in Region II to provide innovative services to support individuals leaving Central Virginia Training Center (CVTC) who have intense medical needs and to seek demonstration projects from providers interested in converting from facility based day programming to community engagement services. To build capacity, there were several positions created. They include Community Integrated Option Specialists to support the independent housing initiatives in Northern Virginia, Central Virginia and Tidewater and a position created to solely support the Regional Support Teams. The recently created and hired Regional Support Specialists who oversee the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) process regionally will be assisting the Community Service Boards (CSB) with managing the Waiver Waitlist in the new system. Other positions are a Quality Management (QM) Data Analyst who has been on board for several months and is recruiting a I/DD Data Analyst to assist with Waiver data analysis and trends and Case Manager Coordinator in the Quality Management (QM) Section to meet the settlement’s agreement for Quality Service Reviews on an annual basis.

In July, 2015, DBHDS convened the New Individual and Family Design Advisory Committee (NIDAC). The majority of participants on the statewide work group are individuals and family members on the ID and DD Waiver Wait List. The proposed family support principal for adoption is that individuals on the ID and DD Wait Lists and their families are best able to determine their own needs and should be empowered to make decisions concerning necessary, desirable and appropriate services. The proposed framework for the IFSP is that it be operated through a system of Regional Individual/Family Support Councils (RIFCO). They would be overseen by family members and individuals on the ID or DD Waiver Wait Lists, but with DBHDS maintaining the administration, oversight and distribution of funding. The NIDAC is receiving information about various ways these types of organizations are operated in other states. The proposal is to be reviewed in October and then discussed in a series of meetings with individuals, family members and other community stakeholders, before final adoption in December, 2015.

To read about other updates presented at the September 30th meeting regarding the budget, training center closures and Quality Service Review (QSR)-State Perspective, please go to the link below.