- Have you had trouble finding the information you need to support your child?
- Have you made multiple phone calls to get the answer to a question?
- Is there a service that you think might help your child?
- Do you have Medicaid, but don’t know what it pays for?
- Has your insurance denied a service for your child and you don’t know what to do?
If you answered YES to any of these questions now is the time to educate your legislator about creating a statewide Disability Resource Center for Children and Families (DRCCF).
This year, from April through June, the Wisconsin Legislature is deciding how to spend money for the next two years. One priority for disability advocates is a statewide DRCCF.
Families who have children with disabilities struggle with complex systems like health care, long-term supports, education, community resources and Medicaid. Currently, Wisconsin has no statewide, coordinated effort to connect families to information, assistance, and services. Families want a reliable source of accurate information. A statewide DRCCF will address this problem.
Explanation of DRCCF (video, 9 minutes)
Information to Share with Your Legislator:
Families want a reliable and trustworthy source of accurate information. Families benefit from one statewide name and one number to call. Create a statewide DRCCF to coordinate outreach, regional staff, referrals to county services, and a person who families can talk with to get help navigating complex systems including:
- Information, assistance and resources to find available community resources, programs and services
- Family navigators with lived experience to provide culturally responsive assistance
- Advocacy services and benefits counseling
- Access to eligibility determination for long-term supports, services, mental health supports and Medicaid
$2.9 million in state funding is needed to develop and implement a statewide DRCCF so families know where to get the help they need.
- 56,000 children in Wisconsin have a disability requiring long-term supports.
- Only 25% of these are connected to a long-term support program.
- Current information and assistance resources serve about 5% of these families.
- The Wisconsin legislature made this commitment to adults and elders by funding Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) in every county.
- ADRCs don’t serve children.
- Without these services and supports the only option for a family who has critical needs is to place their child out of home either in an institution or specialized foster care.
- Supporting families prevents crisis and maximizes the use of existing community, health and school-based supports.