CALGARY, AB (June 4, 2013): Wildrose Human Services Critic Jeff Wilson is citing examples of jurisdictions south of the border that took years to transition into the current funding model for persons with developmental disabilities that the Alberta government is rushing to implement.
A study prepared by the Human Services Research Institute in Oregon examined how eight US states implemented individual level budget allocations such as the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) to determine funding levels for individuals with disabilities. In each case, the transition and implementation took years instead of the rushed four-month transition the PC government is currently undertaking for PDD funding. In the case of Georgia, the transition took place over nine years. The SIS assessments took four years and the funding changes were phased in over five more. “The restructuring process takes steady work over a few years,” the study concludes. “All along, stakeholders must be involved in ways to help guide the process and keep them informed, minimizing their potential resistance to prospective changes later. A complex change process such as this requires careful planning and deliberation and decision making on countless policy matters that come to define the new system.” Wilson is again urging the PC government to slow down its transition, scheduled to take place July 1. “Clearly, this transition is happening way too quickly. Alberta should learn from what others have done, both successes and failures, and take the time to do this right,” Wilson said. “This entire process has been mismanaged, whether it be misleading stakeholders about the government’s intention with the Supports Intensity Scale, or the speed in which this transition is now being implemented. If this plan is going to succeed we need to hit the brakes, bring in all stakeholders involved, have an open and honest dialogue about where we are going and come up with a workable transition plan that gives everybody enough time to adjust.”