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Enhancing the Adult Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Service System in Milwaukee County

A new report - jointly released with the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), our project partner who served as the lead author - suggests several strategies to shore up services for persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Milwaukee County. Those include formation of a new entity to establish standards for provider performance and new mechanisms for sharing performance information with service recipients and their families.

The report suggests a series of actions in four areas:

  • Invest in self-advocacy - the report notes a lack of opportunity for persons with I/DD to inform and shape provider policies, and suggests that managed care organizations and provider agencies take a series of steps to ensure that the voices of self-advocates are heard.
  • Assure system transparency - to address the lack of performance information available to consumers, the report recommends that Milwaukee County form a Performance Outcomes Committee that would establish standards for the collection and dissemination of performance data.
  • Invest in peer support and contribution - the report cites a need to formalize networks of individuals with I/DD and their families that can offer one another mutual support, and suggests increased use of formal cooperatives where participants can work together to manage the services they receive.
  • Provide direction and oversight - the report suggests a possible new role for the County's human services department and the Combined Community Services Board, under which the two entities would work together to function as a repository of performance information on I/DD services provided in the county and best practices nationally.