Their Man Mitch Strikes Again
In my estimation, the following is news. I can think of only two reasons to withhold this item from publication: 1) to allow 150 or more area families one last weekend without the discomfort of knowing their job security is threatened, and 2) to allow Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) and his public relations staff to hone their rhetoric for a big, splashy press conference on Monday.
Strike that. I imagine Gov. Daniels will arrange to be as far away from the state capital as possible on Monday and will send out some hapless cabinet member to face the media.
A single, but reliable source informs us that the state of Indiana will announce the turnover of Silvercrest Children’s Development Center to a private contractor.
Silvercrest provides services to children with multiple disabilities and four state psychiatric hospitals provide services to children with serious emotional disturbance. Although the service needs vary by diagnoses, many children with disabilities require similar services, including:
Respite care and/or respite beds
Self help skills
Medical treatment/monitoring including dietary
Assessment and evaluation
Behavioral specialist staff
Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy
24 hour a day/seven day a week consistency in therapy milieu
High control strategies
Silvercrest Children’s Development Center, under the auspices of the Indiana State Department of Health, provides services to children with multiple disabilities. Located in New Albany in southern Indiana, Silvercrest provides services to children throughout the state, with the majority of children coming from the southern part of Indiana. By statute Silvercrest provides assessment, remediation therapy, and program development to children ages birth to 22, who have 2 or more disabilities. Children are referred to Silvercrest by their local education agency (LEA) and the average length of stay is approximately 12 months.
Services are also provided in the community for children with multiple disabilities. These services are coordinated by the local education agency or the Indiana State Department of Education, Division of Special Education, and include community services, alternative residential placements within the state, and residential placements in other states. Children with the same types of disabilities as those receiving services at Silvercrest are currently receiving services within their communities.
(Data taken from the Governor's Council on State-Operated Care Facilities Final Report)
From that report: Recommendation #13: The Council recognizes the important role that Silvercrest plays in providing services to children with multiple disabilities. In keeping with the goal of providing services as close to home as possible, the Council recommends that the Department of Education, Division of Special Education and the Department of Health develop a collaborative plan that draw on their expertise to further expand these type of services throughout the state. This plan should be developed by December 31, 2001.
That's the O'Bannon/Kernan solution. What does Their Man Mitch offer? And why did those particular state employees endorse Daniels in last year's election?
Learn more about New Albany's contribution to the care of children at the official Web site here http://www.in.gov/isdh/silvercrest/index.htm
We invite those of you who work at or with, or have been served by Silvercrest at some time, to contribute your thoughts about the idea of the state relinquishing control over the facility to a for-profit company.