There are currently five support services brokerages supporting individuals with developmental disabilities in the Portland metro area. In the last year, capacity in brokerages has become an issue as we all reached our contracted limits with the Department of Human Services.
After discussions with stakeholders, the Department of Human Services has announced initial expansion plans to create capacity for those who have been waiting. During the months of August and September, four of the five metro brokerages will add staff to allow for an additional 90 individuals to begin receiving services. The expansion of services was announced prior to the recent across-the-board budgetary cuts. Due to the current climate, plans beyond October are not yet clear.
This expansion is a statewide effort and capacity is being added to counties and brokerages statewide.
Independence Northwest grew by leaps and bounds in its first two years (opening 450 customers in a record 18 months) and for this and other reasons, we have chosen not to increase our contracted capacity at this time. We applaud the efforts of the Department of Human Services and our fellow brokerages statewide.