Welfare Watch - June 16, 2009 – Gwen Skinner, Reorganization, and Federal Legislation

- an award winning crisis and access line
- securing major grants to fuel our program
- development of the first crisis stabilization programs for children
- development and implementation of a new waiver for people with DD
- changing the law to allow persons with mental illness charged with nonviolent offenses to be treated in  the community
- established utilization management across all disabilities to ensure people receive the correct service in the right amount at the right cost
- overhauled data collection/management system to accurately reflect and track citizens receiving services 

and much remains to be done.  That is the nature of the work.  I am very proud of our progress and thank you for your support as we worked to improve programs and services for people with disabilities in Georgia.   

I have enjoyed getting to know so many of you across the state.  You made the issues real for me and helped me see them in the context of the person and the family.  That was invaluable.  I will miss you and hope that our paths will cross again in the future. “  

Editor’s Note:  Gwen Skinner brought much to the State.  Her commitment to the children and families in care, her insistence on best practice, her integrity in dealing with others, her vision for what Georgia’s future could be for children and families in the child welfare, juvenile justice and mental health systems and her concern for others will be greatly missed. She leaves a big hole in State government and we wish her well in her pursuits.   

·         Important bill Introduced - U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) announced introduction of a bill, the Medicaid Services Restoration Act, to help preserve Medicaid services for vulnerable patients such as those with severe mental illnesses, people with developmental or physical disabilities, and foster-care children who are cared for in our foster care and therapeutic group home facilities. The Medicaid Services Restoration Act:

• Finances therapeutic services for children in the child welfare system with serious mental and emotional disturbances.
• Authorizes Medicaid to pay for standard pediatric medical care for children treated in residential treatment centers and psychiatric hospitals.
• Allows states to bundle rates in paying for services.

More information on the Medicaid Services Restoration Act here:  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-1217  

They welcome presentations of interest to providers, policy makers, and stakeholders of Georgia’s at-risk children and families.   In exchange for sharing expertise, lead presenters will receive a complimentary admission to the conference. Travel, hotel, meals and miscellaneous expenses will be at the presenter's expense. If you are interested in presenting at this year's conference, click here for an application and more information.  

Welfare Watch, an email newsletter of the
Georgia Association of Homes
and Services for Children
as a public service.
Normer Adams, Editor

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