Introduced Version






HOUSE

RESOLUTION No. ___




Introduced by: Woodruff


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    A HOUSE RESOLUTION encouraging the President of the United States, the Indiana United States Congressional Delegation, and the Governor of the State of Indiana to make it a priority to advance the commitment to community integration and personal security for individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities by ensuring a stable, high quality, direct support workforce.

    Whereas, there are more than 15,000 Indiana citizens with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities receiving services and approximately 15 ,000 additional Indiana citizens with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities waiting to receive services; and

    Whereas, individuals with developmental disabilities include those with mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and other related conditions; and

    Whereas, individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities have substantial limitations on their

functional capacities, including limitations in three or more of the areas of self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency, as well as the continuous need for individually planned and coordinated services; and

    Whereas, for the past two decades individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities and their families have increasingly expressed their desire to live and work in their communities, joining the mainstream of American life; and

    Whereas, the Supreme Court, in its Olmstead decision, affirmed the right of individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities to receive community-based services as an alternative to institutional care; and

    Whereas, the demand for community supports and services is rapidly growing, as States comply with the Olmstead decision and continue to move more individuals from institutions into the community; and

    Whereas, the demand will also continue to grow as family caregivers age, individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities live longer, waiting lists grow, and services expand; and

    Whereas, families and private providers that employ direct support professionals deliver the majority of supports and services for individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities in the community; and

    Whereas, direct support professionals provide a wide range of supportive services to individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities on a day-to-day basis, including habilitation, health needs, personal care and hygiene, employment, transportation, recreation, and housekeeping and other home management-related supports and services so that these individuals can live and work in their communities; and

    Whereas, direct support professionals generally assist

individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities to lead self-directed family, community, and social lives; and

    Whereas, private providers and the individuals for whom they provide supports and services are in jeopardy as a result of the growing crisis in recruiting and retaining a direct support workforce; and

    Whereas, providers of supports and services to individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities typically draw from a labor market that competes with other entry-level jobs that provide less physically and emotionally demanding work, and higher pay and other benefits, and therefore these direct support jobs are not currently competitive in today's labor market; and

    Whereas, annual ly national industry turnover rates for direct support workers range from 40 to 75 percent; and

    Whereas, high rates of employee vacancies and turnover threaten the ability of providers to achieve their core mission of providing safe and high-quality supports to individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities; and

    Whereas, direct support staff turnover is emotionally difficult for the individuals being served; and

    Whereas, many parents are becoming increasingly afraid that there will be no one available to take care of their sons and daughters with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities who are living in the community; and

    Whereas, this workforce shortage is the most significant barrier to implementing the Olmstead decision and undermines the expansion of community integration as called for by President Bush's New Freedom Initiative, placing the community support infrastructure at risk;

    Whereas, The Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities is committed to supporting the provision of safe and

high-quality supports to individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities who benefit from community based services for the developmentally disabled through recognition of the quality of care provided by the direct support staff who deliver those services in community-based settings:

Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the

General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SECTION 1. T he Indiana House of Representative does hereby resolve that Indiana recognizes that building a stable, well- trained direct support workforce to provide supports and services to individuals with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities is important in advancing Indiana 's commitment to community integration for those individuals and to personal security for them and their families.

SECTION 2. Be it further resolved, that the Indiana House of Representatives seeks to encourage this by taking advantage of all resources, both federal and state, for developing and expanding career options and opportunities to meet this workforce crisis of direct support professionals in Indiana.
SECTION 3. The Clerk of the Indiana House of Representatives is directed to transmit a copy of this Resolution to President George W. Bush, every member of the Indiana United States Congressional Delegation, and Governor Mitchell E. Daniels.