Emphasizing the state’s commitment to community-based services, New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today toured the Arc of Mercer County Health Care Center and met with clients who receive assistance. The center delivers both primary health care and mental health services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Governor Christie has acted to ensure that people with developmental disabilities have access to the care they need to live full and productive lives in the community,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Over the last three years, the state has invested nearly $100 million in new funding to expand community-based services and support for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.”
“The Art of Mercer Health Care Center is an important asset and resource that assists people with developmental disabilities to live as independently as possible within their own community,” said Steven Cook, executive director of Arc Mercer. “Our services are consistent with and complement the Governor’s initiatives to support community-based living for citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
Governor Christie’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget reflects his ongoing commitment to provide critical programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, including:
· Increasing Resources for Community-Based Care to provide $41.8 million of new state and federal funding to develop additional community placements and services, for a projected 788 individuals. An additional $21.3 million is proposed to pay for placements that occurred during Fiscal Year 2013 and a total of $19.7 million in new state and federal funding will support the Division of Developmental Disabilities’ Olmstead initiatives.
· Increasing Funding for Support Services for Children with Developmental Disabilities through the continued integration of programs under the new Division of Children’s System of Care in the Department of Children and Families. An additional $1.5 million has been provided in the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget for placement services.
· Identifying, Diagnosing and Caring for Children with Autism by providing $86 million for the Early Intervention Program, aimed at identifying, diagnosing and caring for children from birth to age three with autism and other developmental disabilities.
· Providing Transition Services for Adults. The Christie Administration has dedicated funding for young adults with developmental disabilities who age out of the Department of Education’s special education entitlement by ensuring a seamless transition to the Department of Human Services’ adult day-programming.
The Arc Mercer’s mission is to help all people with developmental disabilities choose and realize their goals, and reduce the incidence and limit the consequences of developmental disabilities through prevention, education, and advocacy.
Programs are provided for those who need them and opportunities for integration in the larger community are sought. Friendship and support are offered to families, friends, and the community.