Support Funding to Stabilize the DSP workforce and IDD Services Contact Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee Members TODAY!
Support Funding to Stabilize the DSP workforce and IDD Services
Contact Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee Members TODAY!
The Maine State Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee is moving quickly to consider
the recommendation from the Health and Human Services Committee to add funding to the Governor’s supplemental budget to help stabilize programs and the essential frontline DSP workforce caring for adult Mainers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
IDD community members (consumers, parents, guardians, DSPs, and providers alike) who understand the vital role that DSPs have in keeping vulnerable and high-risk Mainers supported and safe through the pandemic are needed to connect with committee members today!
Sample message and contact information for committee members follow below.
What would the funding do?
Funding in the supplemental budget will support:
SAMPLE MESSAGES (see below for contact information)
Please add your personal or professional perspective.
SAMPLE PHONE MESSAGE
Hello, my name is _________, I’m calling to ask for your support for short term emergency funding in the supplemental budget to help stabilize programs and the frontline DSP workforce caring for Mainers with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is important now because….
YOUR PERSONAL/PROFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVE.
Thank you for your consideration. (Leave your call back number xxx-xxxx)
SAMPLE EMAIL MESSAGE
Subject Line: Support Funding to Stabilize the DSP workforce and IDD Services in the Supplemental Budget
Dear (Representative or Senator):
I am writing to ask that you support funding in the supplemental budget to help stabilize the 10,000+ direct support professional workforce workers so they can continue to provide care and support for the thousands of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
The pandemic has compounded the state’s pre-existing rate and workforce shortage crisis in the IDD community. State Medicaid reimbursement rates for residential service wages remain below minimum wage. For providers in Portland, the emergency wage ordinance has only deepened this crisis and providers are having to cut staff hours and quality of care in order to pay the newly required $18/hr wage.
---your personal or professional perspective---
Fatigued and underpaid DSPs who risk their safety, and in turn, the safety of their families, to provide daily support and care to some of Maine's most vulnerable, medically fragile, and high-risk individuals, continue to leave their jobs for lower risk and higher-paying positions, jeopardizing the quality of care and access to services that people with I/DD need and deserve.
MACSP reports an estimated 16% of DSPs have left the workforce. Providers also report an increase in the resignation of skilled and valued veteran staff due to the current challenges, as well as few new applicants, and high overtime rates for the remaining staff just to keep the most basic supports in place.
Additionally, medically necessary center-based Community Supports programs for these same adults have been closed since the fall following the surge of COVID cases and Department guidance. The ongoing loss of revenue continues to grow.
There are simply not enough funds to stabilize staff with the hero pay they deserve, to defray the costs of the pandemic, and to hold up the costs of maintaining community support programs so that these frontline staff and programs are still there for the Mainers who need and depend on them once this public health emergency ends.
The State’s temporary 3-month rate increases ended last May, and unlike other healthcare organizations and providers, the combination of federal and state grant and loan programs has simply not benefited this sector as policymakers imagine.
Short-term financial support now, during the height of this pandemic, is critically needed. These frontline hidden heroes, and the thousands of vulnerable Mainers they care for, need your support!
Please support funding the supplemental budget to stabilize the DSP workforce and IDD services.
Thank you for your consideration.
Your name/ organization
Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee Members
Senator Cathy Breen of Cumberland - Chair D - Senate District 25
15 Falmouth Ridges Drive Falmouth, ME 04105
Phone: 207-329-6142, e-mail: Cathy.Breen@legislature.maine.gov
Senator Donna Bailey of York D - Senate District 31
7 Scrimshaw Lane Saco, ME 04072
Phone: 207-284-9962, e-mail: Donna.Bailey@Legislature.Maine.gov
Senator Paul Davis of Piscataquis R - Senate District 4
36 Townhouse Road Sangerville, ME 04479
Phone:207-343-0258, e-mail: Paul.Davis@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Teresa Pierce of Falmouth- Chair D - House District 44
6 Waites Landing Road Falmouth, ME 04105
Phone: 207-415-8631, e-mail: Teresa.Pierce@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Amy Arata of New Gloucester R - House District 65
607 Bald Hill Road New Gloucester, ME 04260
Phone:207-333-1817, e-mail: Amy.Arata@Legislature.Maine.gov
Representative Barbara Cardone of Bangor D - House District 127
39 Harthorn Avenue Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: N/A, e-mail: Barbara.Cardone@Legislature.Maine.gov
Representative Kristen Cloutier of Lewiston D - House District 60
33 Charles Street Lewiston, ME 04240
Phone: N/A, e-mail: Kristen.Cloutier@Legislature.Maine.gov
Representative Patrick Corey of Windham R - House District 25
353 River RoadWindham, ME 04062
Phone: 207-749-1336, e-mail: Patrick.Corey@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Jessica Fay of Raymond D - House District 66
141 Spiller Hill RoadRaymond, ME 04071
Phone: N/A, e-mail: Jessica.Fay@Legislature.Maine.gov
Representative Justin Fecteau of Augusta R - House District 86
7 Davis Street Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: 207-428-7183, e-mail: Justin.Fecteau@Legislature.Maine.gov
Representative Patty Hymanson of York D - House District 4
34 High Pine RoadYork, ME 03909
Phone: 207-363-8353, e-mail:Patricia.Hymanson@legislature.maine.gov
Representative John Martin of Eagle Lake D - House District 151
PO Box 250 Eagle Lake, ME 04739
Phone: 207-444-5556, e-mail: John.Martin@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Sawin Millett of Waterford R - House District 71
37 Golden Guernsey Drive Waterford, ME 04088
Phone: 207-592-5398, e-mail: Sawin.Millett@legislature.maine.gov
Report: Improving Opportunities for Working People With Disabilities
A new report released on January 27 offers recommendations to improve and streamline federal law allowing states to offer Medicaid coverage to workers with disabilities, whose incomes exceed maximum eligibility levels. Without this option, known as Medicaid Buy-in (MBI), many people with disabilities would need to choose between remaining in lower-paying jobs or not working at all to be able to retain the very benefits that allow them to live independently.
BPC examined this important issue and its policy recommendations during a virtual event with national Medicaid experts including: Henry Claypool, policy director, Community Living Policy Center; Kathy Hempstead, senior policy adviser, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Michael Gamel-McCormick, Ph.D., disability policy director, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging; Seth Gold, health legislative assistant, Office of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH); Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH); and Beth Waldman, J.D., MPH, senior consultant, Bailit Health, and former director of Massachusetts’ Medicaid program.
Watch the webinar
Parent Pandemic Survival Toolkit
March 16th-17th & 23rd – 24th
Join as we share information you need to know to navigate mental health, educational, and vaccination topics during these unsure times. Gain the knowledge that will empower you to make decisions and increase positive outcomes for you, your children, and your family.
Getting Back to In-Person Learning
Tuesday, March 16th - 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Presented by Carrie Woodcock, Executive Director of Maine Parent Federation and Professor Michelle Grenier, Ph.D., C.A.P.E. an internationally recognized expert in the field of inclusion and adapted physical education.
This webinar will include information on how to prepare your student and their IEP for back to in-person learning, how to evaluate their new present levels of performance, how to ask for the proper services, and how to gain access back into the general education setting.
Recognizing the Signs of Suicide Risk and Navigating the Systems of Care
Tuesday, March 16th - 1:00 PM- 3:00 PM
Presented by Richard Chammings LCSW, MHRT-C, MHRT-CSP, Clinical Director, Crisis and Counseling Centers. Rich has over 33 years of residential, inpatient, outpatient, emergency department, case management, and crisis behavioral health treatment experience.
This presentation will be a general overview of suicide statistics, in both Maine, and nationally. You will learn how to recognize early signs of potential elevated suicide risk, risk assessments, and how to navigate the system of care to effectively gain access to treatment and/or support that is needed. This presentation will allow time for participants to share current or past experiences navigating the system of care and problem solve any barriers there may have been.
Surviving Parenting: Self-Care is NEVER Selfish
Wednesday, March 17th - 9:00 AM- 10:30 AM
Presented by Diane Bouffard, CFPS, Team Leader, G.E.A.R. Parent Network
Self-care often becomes an afterthought for parents and caregivers and during this pandemic it is even more vital parents and caregivers take good care of themselves both emotionally and physically. The ability to treat and understand oneself with respect and kindness can be especially elusive when raising a family and during times of significant stress. In this workshop, you will learn how stress and anxiety affect all of us and what you can do about it. You will do a self-care checkup and we will share tools to help decrease stress and create positive thinking. Join us to discover how to take care of yourself and cope when your life is full but your energy tank is running on empty.
Parent Support Group
Wednesday, March 17th - 1:00-2:30 PM
Join MPF and G.E.A.R. Parent Network staff for a parent support group meeting to connect with other families who are navigating similar circumstances and challenges. Bring your questions about mental health, school issues, and vaccinations and our staff will provide you with the information, resources, and referrals to assist you in getting your needs met.
During the past year with the stress, anxiety, and isolation due COVID-19, having someone to talk to has become even more vital! The group will be facilitated by parents for parents. We have been there; we know how you feel, and you are not alone!
Impulsivity & Disruptive Behaviors in Children and Youth
Tuesday, March 23rd - 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Presented by Cindy Seekins, CFPS, Director, G.E.A.R. Parent Network
All children have outbursts from time to time; however, some children have chronic problems in their ability to regulate emotions and behaviors even when adverse consequences may occur. This lack of self-control can cause significant distress or impairment in a child’s or youth’s life. A number of different diagnoses are unified by impulsive and disruptive behaviors, including oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), and impulse control disorder (ICD). In this workshop you will learn more about the disorders defined in the chapter on disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), what treatments are available, and what parents/caregivers can do to better respond to disruptive behavior.
Tuesday, March 23rd - 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Join Dr. Amy Belisle, MD, MBA and Chief Child Health Officer Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Dr. Lisa Letourneau, MD, MPH a Senior Advisor and Delivery System Change in the Department of Health and Human Services. They will provide the most recent information around vaccinations in the state of Maine.
Wednesday, March 24th - 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Join Ben Jones and Atlee Reilly, Attorneys in Special Education at Disability Rights Maine. They will provide information in regards to what COVID-19 Compensatory Services are, when it is appropriate to request these services, and how to request these services.
Katie Beckett Waiver
Wednesday, March 24th - 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Join Dylan Campbell and Jodie Hall, Maine Parent Federation Parent Trainers, for a webinar on the Katie Beckett waiver. You will learn what the waiver is, what services you can receive through Katie Beckett, and how to apply for the Katie Beckett waiver.
We hope you can join us! Please stay connected with both of our organizations.
G.E.A.R. Parent Network
Maine Parent Federation
OADS VIRTUAL LISTENING SESSIONS Regulations Governing Behavioral Support, Modification and Management for People with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism
Virtual Family Support Navigator Training
Are you the parent of, or caregiver to, a child with a disability
or special health care need?
Would you like to share your knowledge to help other Maine families?
If so, this opportunity may be for you!
Maine Parent Federation (MPF) is seeking parents, grandparents, and caregivers of children with disabilities and/or special health care needs who would like to become a trained Family Support Navigator (FSN) to provide peer support to other families in your area. The FSN program matches experienced parents with other parents who need support while learning to navigate systems such as Special Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, MaineCare, Adult Services, etc., and assists in locating local and statewide resources while helping parents learn to advocate for themselves.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic all support is provided through phone, text, email, and social media platforms such as Zoom. One-on-one support will resume once the Pandemic is over.
As a parent who has been involved with MPF in the past, we are contacting you to see if you would like to use your skills and knowledge to support other Maine families. A Family Support Navigator is a part-time independent consultant position. MPF contracts with you to provide up to 10 hours of support to each family you help. We pay $14.00 per hour of direct support to a family and .44 cents per mile travel reimbursement. This is a flexible opportunity as you set your own hours/schedule. MPF provides on-going supervision and technical assistance.
We have divided the training into five two-hour online modules that will be held from 10AM to NOON. The dates are:
Tuesday, March 30 and Wednesday, March 31
Monday, April 5 and Wednesday, April 7
Tuesday, April 13
We offer a $150 stipend for completing the 10-hour training.
Please contact Deborah Newcombe at (800) 870-7746 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an application and job description and/or to answer any questions.
Maine Parent Federation| www.mpf.org
Maine Parent Federation, Inc. | PO Box 2067, Augusta, ME 04338 207-588-1933
MACSP Action Alert - Support the DSP and IDD Services Stabilization Amendment - Contact Health and Human Services Committee Members Today!
2021 Annual Conference
Parent Pandemic Survival Toolkit
G.E.A.R. and MPF will be going virtual with their annual conference.
Information you need to know to navigate mental health, educational, and vaccination topics during these unsure times to be able to empower your decision making and increase positive outcomes for you, your children, and your family.
Virtual Events will be held on the following dates:
Tuesday, March 16th - 9am & 1pm
Wednesday, March 17th - 9am & 1pm
Tuesday, March 23rd - 9am & 1pm
Wednesday, March 24th - 9am & 1pm
More information coming soon!
Join us for a special Zoom session with Erin Frazier, State Director of Special Services for an overview of DOE’s decision to increase the age of eligibility from 20 to 22.
Thursday, February 4th 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM.
Opportunity for questions and answers will follow.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 834 6402 6767
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,83464026767#,,,,*289659# US (Chicago)
+19292056099,,83464026767#,,,,*289659# US (New York)
Dial by your location
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 834 6402 6767
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdTdNBEDDo
Portland Public Schools
353 Cumberland Ave, Portland ME 04101
February SMACT Meeting is on 2/5 - Presentation on Eligibility and Intak for DHHS OADS & Adult Case Management Services
Southern Maine Advisory Council on Transition
WHEN: FRIDAY, February 5, 2021 TIME: 1:00 – 3:00
Due to the pandemic this meeting will be held via ZOOM. The link is below.
Join Us for SMACT’s February Meeting Presentation
The topic for our February presentation is the eligibility and intake of DHHS’ Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) and information about Adult Community Case Management (ACCM) services. We are excited to welcome Theresa Jack – OADS Intake Coordinator / Cumberland County, Mariah Hadyniak - OADS Intake Coordinator / York County, and Pam Butler – OADS Intake Coordinator / Region 2, as well as Alli Vercoe – ACCM Services with Independence Association and Meredith Inosencio – ACCM Services with Morrison Center. They will share specific information about the eligibility and intake process with OADS as well as review the services available within the adult service system.
Handouts and excellent reference material for this presentation, with the information for OADS eligibility and application, as well as transition planning information for youth and families, may be accessed through SMACT’s.
Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/93623331150?pwd=VlYvMG1GWWJNSEVtcVRzdTVqVy9QQT09 Meeting ID: 936 2333 1150 Passcode: cC30aq
Maine Disability Alerts - Please ask your Representative and Senator to co-sign a letter about COVID vaccine prioritization
Dear Friends of Mainers with Disabilities,
Please ask your state representative and state senator to co-sign a letter that Rep Laurie Osher is circulating about prioritizing family members living with people at risk for bad COVID outcomes (especially children at risk who are too young for the vaccine).
The letter does the following:
You can get your senator’s email address at https://legislature.maine.gov/sen.../find-your-state-senator