GO! Bulletin
We are living in very challenging and uncertain times. The COVID pandemic continues to impact nearly every aspect of our lives at home and in our communities.

The efforts to rebuild Oregon’s economy have already started, however unless the state can access additional funding from the federal government or other sources, the state will be forced to reduce program budgets.
 
The legislature is preparing to hold a Special Session in August to address budget shortfalls for this biennium, which ends in June 2021. To get the work started, the Ways and Means Committee Tri-Chairs and Legislative Fiscal Office have released proposed reductions to programs, including DD services.

Of particular concern is the proposed elimination of two programs for families of children with DD:

 Family to Family Networks

The Value of Family to Family Networks:
  • Reach more than 12,250 families throughout Oregon
  • Provides an immediate safety net for children who fall through the cracks of formal service systems
  • Families are connected with other families with shared experiences which alleviates isolation, averts crisis, builds resiliency and a positive trajectory for the child's future
  • Offers an array of supports to families not available in any other part of the DD Services System
  • Flexible and responsive to families, especially as many families continue to quarantine due to their children’s health conditions
  • See the Oregon Consortium of Family Networks Video | Fact Sheet

This is not the time to eliminate funding for Family to Family Networks when it is vital for families to stay connected to systems of support during this pandemic when they are experiencing higher degrees of isolation, fear and stress. Please keep $665,000 in the DD Services Budget for the remainder of biennium to protect Family to Family Networks. 

  Family Support Program

The Value of Family Support:
  • Allows DD Services to provide a small amount of annual flexible funding for purchases of goods and/or services that benefit children with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities who are not enrolled in Medicaid-funded DD services.
  • General funds allow flexibility as has been especially helpful since COVID when the State was able to offer Expanded Family Support Funds to purchase items for the child related to their disability and the state of emergency.

This is not the time to eliminate Family Support Funding when alternate types of support are needed when especially as families are faced with additional challenges imposed by COVID. Please keep $540,000 in the DD Services Budget for the remainder of biennium to preserve the Family Support program.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Eliminating the second year of funding for these two programs would eliminate them completely which is not in alignment with Guiding Principles outlined in the 2020 Ways & Means Co-Chair Rebalance Plan. These General Fund programs are critical to supporting families of children experiencing disability and must be preserved so that Oregon continues to be a place where families are supported to raise their children in their home. 
Send a short email to the Human Services Ways & Means Subcommittee and the Chairs of the Joint Ways & Means Committee TODAY in advance of the Budget Hearing tomorrow from 1-4PM
 
  • Start by introducing yourself briefly, include your name and city.
  • State the purpose of the email: “Please do not eliminate the Family to Family Networks and Family Support program funding from the DD Services Budget. Families need continual access to systems of support during this pandemic and this is not the time to eliminate these programs.”
  • Add a sentence or two about why you feel these services are important and add a brief personal story if you have one to share.

Please send a copy to us at OregonDDC@gmail.com
Thank you for supporting families of children with disabilities!
About the Oregon DD Coalition
The Oregon DD Coalition advocates for DD services on behalf of and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and support organizations in Oregon.

We influence DD service and community support systems and legislation by communicating with a common, consistent voice – creating better opportunities for Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Interested in signing up for the GO! Bulletin or
becoming a member of the Oregon DD Coalition?
 1775 32nd Place, Suite F, Salem OR 97301