For the past five years, the Perry County Board of Developmental Disabilities (PCBDD) has been led by the mission of “Partnering with the community by using available resources to support individuals with developmental disabilities”. Each year, PCBDD developed annual action plans and specific goals related to fulfilling that mission. As PCBDD was faced with challenges or difficult decisions, potential solutions or resolutions were ran by that very same mission to ensure actions and choices truly encompassed living by the mission. As the cycle for the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan comes to a close, it is important to reflect on where we started so we can better shift our focus to the future.
The current strategic plan for PCBDD included themed focus areas for which annual goals would be set. Listening and Learning, Making Responsible Choices, Managing Resources, and Balancing People and Processes served as the framework for accomplishing the mission, vision, and values of PCBDD.
In 2012, as part of Listening and Learning, a formal, systematic survey process was implemented. Agency surveys are a large piece of how we continue to seek to receive feedback. The PCBDD survey process has evolved and improved over the past five years; but as a result, has brought about meaningful change in the way we provide services and supports. For example, in 2014, the PCBDD community survey gave insight into the fact that people didn’t really know who we were as an organization, and therefore those people may not have voted to support our levy efforts. Surveys have identified the need for parent support groups to exist for early childhood programs. Surveys are also an ongoing way PCBDD staff expresses thoughts, concerns and suggestions for improvement that has inspired change.
Over the current strategic plan cycle, Managing Resources has allowed PCBDD to look at staff sharing concepts, which currently result in sharing four personnel, compared to previously only sharing an Adult Services Director. The Service and Support Administration Department has also developed a cost projection tool for waiver services that has helped PCBDD more accurately determine needs, services, and supports for people on waivers.
Addressing the theme of Making Responsible Choices initiated early conversations about transition, unintentionally. PCBDD took a closer look services and supports through life long transitions. Literal goals started with services for the aging population and the need to partner with local school districts for school-aged children. We have went from a system who has made and facilitated decisions for adults who were actually capable of making their own decisions, to a system who promotes independence through a person-centered approach of decision making. The Imagine philosophy and data system drives and facilitates conversations around what is important to a person, or what is important for them when faced with decisions about housing, employment, or other life events. That person is empowers to then make the decision on their own.
The Early Childhood Program has expanded through the attainment of grant funding that has allowed for increased billing opportunities and ultimately for more children and families to be served through Early Intervention, Help Me Grow Home Visiting, and School-Age service coordination.
Current transition conversations now involve topics of PerCo, Creative Opportunities, and Recreation’s independence from the county board and plans for PCBDD to no longer be a provider of direct service to people with disabilities.
Balancing People and Processes has introduced a culture shift at PCBDD. Quality systems, succession planning, and process management are now part of regular, routine dialogues. Continuous improvement is becoming a way of life.
As crafting and executing strategy are core functions of a strategic plan; learning from and building on a strategy that didn’t go as planned is just as essential. In 2012, PCBDD goals included securing ongoing funding (specifically grant opportunities) for leadership training/mentoring and developing advocacy at the school-age level. Grants were not secured and a formal funding stream was not identified. Fast forward to December 2016, the relentless pursuit of growth for the Academy for Leadership Abilities® demonstrates solid strategy execution. There is not only one person taking a leadership role in the community on behalf of ALA®, but there are currently six. There is not one school district utilizing the ALA® curriculum, but currently two and plans for others to come on-board. And PCBDD has partnered with the community (Perry County Job and Family Services) to receive supplemental funding for ALA® and to connect the program with other local populations. PCBDD continues to develop positive outcomes for the people we support through ALA® as it is crafted for children and adults, disabled and non-disabled, privileged and underprivileged.
In 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued the order that county boards of developmental disabilities can no longer provide the services they pay for. Through this time of transition and beyond, PCBDD remains committed to the health, safety, and overall well-being of the people we support.
At the inception of the current strategic plan, PCBDD earned a five-year accreditation that continues to drive our high-performing organization. The goals and objectives of the 2012–2016 Strategic Plan have been accomplished and our direction has changed. How we do things and what services and supports we offer may be changing rapidly; but PCBDD will continue to be responsible, accountable, person-centered.
David C. Couch, Superintendent