New Housing Service Models to Replace DC

Mar 16, 2011 --- At the November 20, 2010 PCC meeting, Brian Boxall, the former President of the Association for the Mentally Retarded at Agnews, presented an overview of the new service models that were developed during the closure of Agnews Developmental Center. He began by summarizing the "standard" residential models that typically serve clients in the community. These included Supported Living, ICF-DDH and ICF-DDN homes that are usually family-owned and operated models.

Brian discussed the three pieces of legislation created specifically for Agnews. AB-2100 allowed non-profit Housing Trusts to purchase homes for Agnews Movers. Because the homes are not owned by the service provider, the clients can remain in the home even if the service provider changes. SB-962 created a strictly-licensed model of care for individuals with complex and enduring medical needs. And AB-1378 allowed direct-care staff at Agnews to retain their state employment while working in the new community-based homes. All three pieces of legislation will plan a part in the Lanterman closure as well.

Brian then described three new service models that have been implemented as part of the Agnews closure. The Family Teaching Model is a duplex-style model where a certified "family teaching couple" lives in one-half of the duplex and provides services to three clients who live in the other half. Support staff is also employed. This model is generally for clients who have a higher degree of self-care skills. The Special Residential Home (SRH) is a 3-4 bed model for clients with significant emotional and behavioral challenges. SRHs use a "negotiated-rate" reimbursement, which allows for enhanced staffing ratios and increased usage of clinical therapists. The SB-962 Medical Homes are a 5-bed model for clients with significant and enduring medical needs. They are required by law to employ 24-hour licensed nursing staff, and are equipped with hospital beds, specialized bathing equipment, and ceiling tracking devices for client transfers. Clients receive their Day Programs and other therapies in the home. The homes are also required to have emergency electrical generators and reserve supplies of non-perishable food and medical supplies.
(Editor's Note) - This article was authored by Brian Boxall and is reprinted with permission)