The following notice was emailed to all Personal Support Workers working with INW customers on 12/13/2016:
The state has announced that it is shortening the time you have for submitting your time sheets by one day in the next payroll cycle, due to the changeover between TNT and PPL as state fiscal intermediary. In order to receive payment on time, you must have your time sheets in no later than Monday, December 19th, 2016. Brokerage processing time has been cut as well, pretty much eliminating our flexibility on late submissions.
P.S. – If you haven’t followed up on requests to turn your paperwork in to PPL, please do so now. We continue to be concerned about the low number of PSWs who are considered “good to go” in PPL’s system. If you’re not set up properly in the system, there’s no way to get you paid on time.
Click here for the 2017 PSW Submission and Payment Schedule
The State of Oregon Department of Human Services has announced another change planned for disability services in our state.
Starting September 1st, 2015, Personal Support Workers may not be newly authorized to provide more than 50 hours per week of services to a single individual receiving brokerage services. For those currently working more than 50 hours per week, their allowable work hours will be reduced at the time of the customer’s annual ISP. (Note: PSWs may still work more than 50 hours across multiple customers, just not for the same customer. The cap is at the ISP level, not the provider level.)
In a Policy Transmittal released at the end of June, the Oregon Department of Human Services explained that the policy “is being implement to position Oregon for anticipated regulation changes associated with the Fair Labor Standards Act.” Historically, domestic workers have been exempt from overtime. The FLSA changes that.
INW will be contacting affected customers and providers quarterly, prior to the customer’s annual plan renewal.
If you are interested in reading about the changes in the meantime, please read the transmittals listed below.
*This post was updated 09.12.2015 to reflect the most recent information related to the change.
By Larry Deal, Executive Director of Independence Northwest
Over the past year and a half, so much time has been spent deconstructing and reconstructing Oregon’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities system, there’s been little opportunity to sit back and celebrate some of the successes. Here are five things that are currently working well – and that deserve their moment in the sun.
People are getting more services. With the change from 100% Title XIX Waiver to a mix of K Plan and Waiver funding, Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities are getting more services than ever before. This is a wonderful thing. Historically, people in crisis situations had limited resources and little option other than out of home placement (group homes and foster care homes) whether that was their preference or not. In the new system, many Oregonians now have the resources to continue living at home; the current design supports true individual and family choice. The importance of this change cannot be overstated. (That said, there’s still a very real fiscal sustainability discussion that must be had to support these efforts long-term.)
Providers are beginning to expand capacity. This one’s a slower burner, but it’s beginning. Customers, families, and professionals have all been highly concerned about the increase in funding since it came without an ounce of provider capacity expansion planning or incentives. Oregon put the funding before the resources. In recent weeks and months, many agencies have begun reaching out to brokerages and are expanding their services to our community in everything from in-home to employment supports; in 2015, I believe we will see a tangible increase in options for our customer base.
There’s a recent willingness for course correction when things aren’t working. If you haven’t heard of DSA (Day Support Activities,) consider yourself lucky. In short, DSA was an exercise in rushed change implementation. Ultimately, it changed rates, it changed processes, and it changed the definition of certain services. The process upended Brokerage, CDDP (Community Developmental Disabilities Program) and provider organization operations and damaged the integrity of reporting systems statewide. However, collaborative efforts (led by ODDS) amongst brokerages, CDDPs (counties), providers, and state has made a real difference. Recent changes in leadership have assured a common sense, customer-first approach to problem solving. In other words, there’s strong collaboration happening again in Oregon. This is a very good thing – let’s do more of it.
We’re sticking with our current needs assessment tool. One of the major concerns brokerages have been facing while implementing the still-new functional needs assessment has been knowing full well we’d have to change assessments again at the beginning of 2015. Recent actions from the state suggest that we will be working to make the current brokerage tool (the Adult Needs Assessment) work well into the future. For brokerage customers, this is promising. We need consistency, stability, and some time to do some in-depth analysis on the efficacy of the current tool first. This decision deserves kudos.
Perhaps most significantly, Oregon is focusing on individual goals – again. If you have been working in the system or receiving services for the last year and a half, you’ve no doubt noted the troubling focus on deficits-based language and approach. I remember being in a meeting very, very early on in the K Plan implementation when it was announced by someone with significant influence that “this is no longer about goals, it’s about needs.” Soon, that refrain began to echo. Fortunately, that interpretation is no longer alive and well. What some people didn’t understand early on in the transition process was this: Brokerages have always addressed disability-related support needs. And we have done so while helping people reach their goals. You don’t provide publicly-funded services without making sure needs are documented and necessary. A sophisticated, supportive, holistic system addresses health and safety while placing a premium on the wants, needs, and goals of the individual. We know it can work because we’ve been doing it for thirteen years. I can’t say enough how pleasing it is to hear high-ranking leaders in our state stating that goals matter.
There are many issues we must continue wrestling with: the eXPRS payment system and pending Personal Support Worker entry, the monthly versus annual services issue, the ongoing review of Behavioral Supports, changes to supported employment, and many more. But as we inch ever closer to the new year, it’s safe to say that we all hope for continued positive developments in the Oregon I/DD service delivery system. We’re a resilient, engaged, and growing community. Fingers crossed we can focus the coming year’s efforts on enhancing, expanding, and enriching the lives and experiences of the individuals, families, and communities we support. Oregon was once at the forefront of community-based services in our country; with continued focus, effort, and partnership there’s no reason that can’t be a reality again.
FACT (Family and Community Together), Oregon Consortium of Family Networks and the DD Coalition present “Great Expectations: Preparing for Life After School,” a workshop for students and families. It’s scheduled for May 30th, 2013 from 9am to 3pm. The event will be held at the Ambridge Event Center at 1333 NE MLK Jr Boulevard in Portland. Cost is $5 and lunch is included.
The training is for parents, students and professionals.
An important message from FACT’s (Families and Community Together) Executive Director, Roberta Dunn:
On behalf of Family and Community Together, I would like to invite you to become a part of FACT’s Parent to Parent [P2P] Mentor Program!
As you know, sometimes raising a child experiencing disability can be overwhelming, and may leave you feeling like the only person in the world facing these challenges. FACT P2P parent mentors share their experiences as parents and what they have learned – that having a child experiencing disability is just a part of a whole life… A life that will be beautiful, messy, smooth, and bumpy, just like most lives are. Mentors also listen with an empathetic ear because they have “been there.”
FACT’s parent mentors are a special group of volunteers who are trained to help support caretakers, whether they are parents, grandparents, siblings, or anyone else who has a family member experiencing disability. Parent mentors can be extremely helpful when someone is navigating through special education; with this in mind, FACT is particularly interested in identifying parent mentors available to support a family in preparing for and participating in their child’s IEP.
FACT believes that families are our greatest resource! Indeed, it is your personal experience and understanding of the particular challenges, joys, and milestones that come with raising a child experiencing disability that makes you such a powerful ally to a parent, whether s/he is just starting out in this journey or is further along. Because we know parenting does not stop at age 21, FACT continues to provide parent mentors who can assist others across a person’s lifespan.
As a parent mentor, you will join hundreds of other parents who are providing support, information, and resources to others across the country. FACT P2P is the Oregon chapter of the national Parent to Parent USA organization which has roots dating back to 1971. Parent to Parent USA now has chapters helping families in 27 states.
If interested, please see the P2P Mentor Application for the Parent Mentor application (available in English and Spanish). Parents with prior experience supporting families in the IEP process as an IEP partner are highly encouraged to apply!
Open to all community members! Announcing the Fall Parent Social put on by On-the-Move Community Integration. Meet and socialize with other parents and caregivers who are caring for an adult with developmental disabilities. Wine & appetizers will be served.
Wednesday, November 30th 2011 6:00 -7:30pm On-the-Move Community Integration, located at 4187 SE Division in Portland, Oregon.
Please RSVP to Deborah Waggoner, Community Inclusion Specialist