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Self -Determination Waiver Approved

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the Self-Determination program.   Below is the announcement from Nancy Bargmann, Director of the Department of Developmental Services.  As noted below, there is still some work to do to begin this new program.  A timeline will be published by the DDS on June 18, 2018 with information on the implementation. 

 

The Department is very pleased to announce that the application for federal funding, or Waiver, for the Self-Determination Program was approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  This news represents an essential step toward providing people who receive regional center services and their families an alternative way to coordinate their services, with more freedom and control over how the services are provided and the individuals who support them. We would like to express sincere appreciation for the assistance and guidance from the Department’s self-determination advisory workgroup and other stakeholders, which has been instrumental in gaining CMS’ approval of the Waiver. We also thank and recognize the work and technical assistance received from many representatives of CMS and California’s Department of Health Care Services.

In October 2013, Governor Edmund G. Brown signed Senate Bill 468, authored by Senators Bill Emmerson and Jim Beall and co-authored by Assembly Members Holly Mitchell and Wesley Chesbro, into law. This law, championed by remarkable and determined self-advocates, family members and advocacy organizations, established a statewide Self-Determination Program that adheres to the following principles to ensure those who participate have:

 

·       Freedom – to exercise the same rights as all citizens; to establish, with freely chosen supporters, family and friends, where they want to live, with whom they want to live, how their time will be occupied, and who supports them;

·       Authority –  to control a budget in order to purchase services and supports of their choosing;

·       Support – including the ability to arrange resources and personnel, which will allow flexibility to live in the community of their choice;

·       Responsibility – which includes the ability to take responsibility for making decisions in their own lives and accept a valued role in their community, and

·       Confirmation – in making decisions in their own lives by designing and operating the system that they rely on.

 

Self-determination in California began almost twenty years ago as a small pilot project in limited areas of the state, with the intention of eventually expanding the program statewide.  The time from the start of the pilot project, to Governor Brown’s signing of the law in October 2013, to now has only heightened the desire to implement self-determination broadly in California.  

While approval of the Waiver represents the key step towards implementation of the Self-Determination Program, the Department and the self-determination advisory workgroup must continue to focus on finalizing program components for implementation.  Providing information and support, in particular training and orientation materials, needed to assist those who are selected and choose to participate is central to implementation and is in the final stages of completion.  We remain committed to implementing this important program and look forward to the continued collaboration, not only with the Department’s advisory workgroup, but also the local volunteer advisory committees and the Statewide Self-Determination Advisory Committee.  The Department will publish a timeline with key dates for implementation by June 18, 2018.  Updates will be posted on the Department’s dedicated website page for Self-Determination at: https://www.dds.ca.gov/SDP/.  If you would like to be notified of future updates about Self-Determination, please send an email to sdp@dds.ca.gov.  Information for those who are interested on how they can be considered for participation in the Self-Determination Program can be found at https://www.dds.ca.gov/SDP/sdpEnrollment.cfm

Please join me in celebrating the approval of the Self-Determination Program Waiver and thanking the Department’s self-determination advisory workgroup for their dedication and countless hours of work to make it happen. 

NANCY BARGMANN, Director

Department of Developmental Services

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