Thursday, June 30, 2011

Developmental Center Review is a Necessity

A writer's opinion on the New Jersey task force to review developmental centers and the recent closing of one facility.

VINELAND, N.J. -- State Sen. Jeff Van Drew's bill to create a task force to conduct a thorough review of the state's seven developmental centers and develop a plan for their future is the only way to go before any decisions on closures are made.

Unfortunately, this apparently wasn't done before the proposed closure of the Vineland Developmental Center was included in the governor's budget.

The Christie administration and Department of Human Services should have conducted such a thorough review and considered many factors before making any decision. Then, they would have known the:

• Economic impact on the community of closing a particular center.

• Ability of the surrounding community to provide the necessary services and support to those with developmental disabilities.

• Projected repair and maintenance costs.

• Number of patients within the centers who require 24/7 supervision.

• Number of patients and their families who expressed a desire to remain in a developmental center.

Even after a plan is developed, one or more of the developmental centers statewide could be closed. But then residents and the state will have all the facts to make an informed decision that's the best option to ensure taxpayers save money, economic hardships are shared fairly by North and South Jersey, and all center clients and their families continue to be served well.

No comments:

Post a Comment