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List of Accomplishments
Here is the list of the major accomplishments made by Regional Family Support Planning Councils:
1. In FY 2016 (October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016), 15 public forums/providers fairs were conducted. Approximately 1,200 people attended.
2. The Collaboration Committee members and Family Support Coordinator continue to meet with DDD and DCF to provide families’ input and feedback monthly and bi-monthly, respectively. The achievements include but are not limited to the followings:
· A new Family Advisory Council was recently formed. The majority of Family Advisory Council members are active Regional Family Support Planning Council members. The Family Advisory Council will be the official family advisory group for DDD.
· The Supports Program Policies and Procedures Manual: A Quick Guide for Families has been created based on the-250-page Supports Programs Policies and Procedures Manual issue by DDD.
· Department of Human Services has agreed to eliminate the professional development requirements for Self-Directed Employees in response to the strong advocacy efforts by the RFSPC.
· Feedback from families regarding Fee-for-Service transition was shared with the State.
· DDD has eliminated the additional process for individuals/families to obtain their tier information. The letter is automatically generated to notify such information.
· DCF Summer Camp application process has been improving.
· DCF Family Support Services utilization and unmet needs are continued to be reviewed and discussed.
· Some restrictions on adult residential and day program have been eliminated from the original Statewide Transition Plan.
· Provider capacity building continues to be discussed with DDD and DCF personnel.
3. Four statewide membership meetings were held with a total of 117 attendees. The guest speakers include:
· Dr. Allison Blake, Commissioner, Department of Children and Families
· Liz Manley, Assistant Commissioner, Division of Children’s of System of Care, Department of Children and Families
· Kevin Casey, Executive Director, NJCDD
· Stephanie Pratico, Chairperson, NJCDD
· Jonathan Seifried, Director of Housing and Special Projects, Division of Developmental Disabilities
· Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey
· Alice Hunnicutt, State Director of Division of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services
4. New collaborative partnerships have been formed, such as Department of Education, Family Support Organization, legislators, to name a few.
· The former Director (current Deputy Chief Learning Supports and Specialized Services Officer) Peggy McDonald, Special Education of the Department of Education, was invited to the statewide meeting. The RFSPC has been invited to their stakeholder meetings.
· Division of Children’s System of Care has acknowledged the collaboration between the Regional Family Support Planning Council #4 (Essex) and Family Support Organization of Essex County as “best practice” to advance youth participation
5. NJ Family Support Planning Council Facebook page was launched.
· The Words of Wisdom Campaign, as known as WOW Campaign, received positive feedback. During the 5-month campaign period, the members’ short advice and personal story was posted on a daily basis.
· The WOW post that reached the most people: 975 people (posted 12/2/16)
· How did you meet your support system? How did you cultivate?
“I met many people in my support system by keeping an open mind and talking to everyone I came across at therapy sessions, doctors’ offices, school and in the community. We just never know when we will meet the next person who will help make a difference in our lives.” Mercedes, Council #1 (Sussex, Warren, Morris)
· The WOW post that triggered most reaction: 41 reactions (posted 12/2/16)
· What does the Regional Family Support Planning Councils offer? What keeps you coming back to the monthly meeting?
· “Network of parent leaders who advocate for effective and positive change in their communities for individuals with different abilities. Get involved, get connected and get it right!” Tatsiana, Council #9 (Atlantic)
· As of 2/1/17, there are 436 followers.