The Connecticut Department of Mental Retardation implemented a pilot project to make changes to its service delivery system to enable persons with mental retardation to choose the services they receive and the setting in which they wish to live.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program, Self-Determination for People with Developmental Disabilities.
By the end of the grant period, the department had served 369 people with mental retardation and their families using a new approach. This included:
- Giving each person assistance in identifying and obtaining services through a "support broker" (independent professionals who help individuals and their families identify their needs and find services and providers who can meet those needs).
- Helping him or her choose a team of advisers, completing a service plan focused on the individual's goals and needs.
- Giving each person control of an individual budget and access to fiscal agents.
The department integrated the use of tailored individual supports into its service delivery system in each of its five service regions.
The department reported that 64 percent of the individuals newly served in 2000 chose self-directed, in-home supports over traditional services in a group home, compared with 7 percent in 1995.
By the end of the grant, all state systems were in place to allow the state to bill Medicaid for providing home- and community-based individual supports using such self-determination concepts as support brokers, individual budgets and fiscal agents.