Over 100 individuals joined us this past Monday for a session regarding the need for Turning 22 and adult services.
Over the past 19 months, we estimate that 2,000 individuals transitioned to adult services, and possibly 3,000 other older adults among our constituency have not been able to obtain day (community-based) or day habilitation services.
During the pandemic, not much beyond virtual services could be offered, and since then the workforce shortage has worsened, not improved. It’s not new to need services or to be under-served, but the scope of this crisis is beyond anything we have previously faced in the community services era. But here we are.
Unlike school systems, we don’t have access to national guard troops for transportation, nor would it be advisable for untrained persons to be assigned to day services. Our goal over the next few weeks is to accomplish these objectives:
- Listen even more regarding the state of affairs people face
- Provide information that may not be known to our constituents and families
- Help them connect to DDS, family support centers, and local resources
- Work with DDS to address gaps that exist
We know some family support centers are running groups regularly for transition and other needs. We understand that in some areas, innovative strategies are being developed.
For those who want to join us, we’ll be continuing this topic of Adults and Turning 22: Addressing the Services Gap in part 2 on Monday, November 8 at 12pm. A new registration link is available here for this second session.
In the meantime, here are some connections:
- Family support directory to find your area family support center, ask about groups on transition, and share your need: https://www.mass.gov/lists/dds-family-support-services-information#dds-family-support-directory-
- Explore the transition conference hosted by The Arc: it won’t solve a short-term need, but will have some helpful planning information: https://thearcofmass.org/conference
- Learn about self-determination and shift to some personalized supports – here is the general link: https://www.mass.gov/dds-self-directed-services-2021
- Download this flyer from DDS on upcoming training sessions