In the summer of 2013, Alberta Professional Services (APS), took up a new strategic objective of advocacy by adding this bullet to the mission statement:
• Advocating for their right to receive services actually needed, rather than requiring consumers of MH/IDD/SA services choose only from what has been made available. This includes an inherent right to live with dignity and respect in the least restrictive setting appropriate for their needs and as independently as their psychological and development resources allows.
Message from Dr. Krohn, CEO of Alberta Professional Services:
Upon reflection on Alberta’s organizational status, history, and values as well as the talent we have on staff and especially among our younger professionals, I believe that it is time for us take up in earnest a new mission. We have experienced firsthand the disruptive impact that nonclinical decisions made about the services provided to our consumers can have on our agency, our community, and certainly the lives of our clients. We have witnessed the terrible impact that terminating Targeted Case Management as a Medicaid funded service had on both our agency and our consumers. We fear now what may come of SPMI services in our State and the direct impact this may have on us all. Two of our group homes dedicated to serving this population are threatened with the termination of Personal Care Services (PCS) funding as part of a greater State wide movement to reduce cost which, ultimately reduces services to this population in general. This comes in spite of convincing documentation of the real therapeutic impact of providing the essential residential supports needed for these clients to live freely and productively in their communities. The risk to these consumers of becoming homelessness, ceasing their medications, disrupting the lives and productivity of their families, overburdening crisis programs and emergency services, and ultimately of returning to the revolving doors of institutionalization is too real to be ignored.
Thus, I am proposing that we stand now and challenge this threat head-on in the halls of our legislature and the podium of public opinion through determined advocacy. We will lend our voice to speak compassionately for those among us who have difficulty speaking for themselves. APS personnel and clients became involved with the frontlines of advocacy in 2012-14, when Medicaid Personal Care Services (PCS) funding cuts threatened adult group homes services.
See NC Health News Article.
Jenny Gadd, Director of Advocacy and Alex Harrison, resident of Homestead Place, won awards for their advocacy efforts to bring an awareness of group homes and the people they serve to the General Assembly. See MSW student Jenny Gadd wins NASW-NC Advocacy Award.
Our on-going advocacy activities include attending Legislative Committee meetings, being a sponsor of the Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health, as well as, being actively involved with other community advocates to bring awareness of the needs of vulnerable populations to our policy makers.
See 36th Annual Legislative Breakfast On Mental Health 2014.
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