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.
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
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.
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.