Over the past several years, the disability services industry has seen an increased focus on transitioning to greater use to community-based day and employment supports. Through the dialog and debate about how to work towards this outcome, INARF has emphasized three key points. First, the path to achieving this outcome is not by removing options from but by building capacity that results in greater choice and access. Second, any efforts toward developing solutions should tap into the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the provider community – seeking their experience and expertise to develop thoughtful and meaningful approaches. Third, any potential solutions should be explored, piloted, and tested in order to effectively inform long-term policies versus rushing to implement a systemic approach.
With this in mind, INARF was encouraged by today’s Request for Funds (RFF) by the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) which seems in keeping with these areas of focus. First and foremost, the RFF seeks to support providers in developing new and creative approaches to increased access to community-based services. Second, there appears to be a strong focus on using the grant opportunity to explore, pilot, and test new ideas that can be shared with others and used to inform future policy decisions. Lastly, the Division’s approach focuses on developing capacity – increasing options and not eliminating choice.
While not a panacea to the many challenges implicated by the push toward increased community-based supports, the Request for Funding seems like a productive step in helping to better understand these challenges. INARF encourages its members to explore how the RFF might fit with your agency’s strategic goals and initiatives. We look forward to seeing the creative and thoughtful responses resulting from this opportunity.
For additional information on the RFF, see the announcement or visit the BDDS Request for Funds webpage. BDDS will be hosting a pre-proposal conference on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. at the Indiana Government Center South, located at 402 West Washington Street in Indianapolis, Room W451. The proposals are due no later than May 7, 2015 with the targeted award date of June 24, 2015. Please note - all inquiries related to the RFF are to be submitted electronically to Pashun Smith and are not to be directed to any other staff member of FSSA.
We hope you find this information helpful. Should you have questions or need any additional information, please contact your INARF office.