Saturday, October 16, 2010

Federal, state, local funds will aid families dealing with developmental disabilities

Hundreds of families in Missouri dealing with development disabilities will be able to get support services sooner -- and in the comfort of their homes. This program means families can avoid putting their loved ones in residential care programs or institutions.

Because the demand for community-based services is so great, there is a large backlog of families in Missouri who are waiting for help, including here in the Ozarks.

"There's health care issues, transportation issues; it just keeps going; it kind of snowballs,” said Larry Leek, executive director of Springfield Workshop.

Families who deal with a developmental disability often have tough times.

"There’s a much higher divorce rate for families who are trying to care for a family member with developmental disability,” said Jan Jones, executive director of Abilities FIRST.

One of the biggest burdens is the financial one.

"Those families are waiting for very basic services to just try and keep their family units together,” said Jones.

Help is now on the way, thanks to a combination of federal, state and local funds.

"Eight million dollars is kind of a drop in the bucket as far as that goes; at least it's a step in the right direction,” said Leek.

The $8 million is for 37 counties in Missouri, including Greene and Taney counties, for some 4,000 families dealing with developmental disabilities.

"In Greene County, we have approximately 100 on that waiting list,” said Jones.

Source and More:,0,4594585.story

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