A recently released report from the province has put forward six recommendations about changes to the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program.
The government accepted four of the six recommendations, and rejected recommendations on dissolving the six PDD community boards and establishing an Advisory Council in their place.
“My number one priority throughout this administrative review has been to achieve the best possible outcomes for the individuals who rely on this important program,” said Mary Anne Jablonski, minister of Seniors and Community Supports and MLA for Red Deer North.
“It would not be prudent to dismantle the six community boards, and I don’t think such a drastic and potentially disruptive step is necessary to move the PDD program to a one-program approach that will be more consistent and efficient.
“The Boards serve an important role in identifying community priorities and keeping decision-making as close to the individual and their community as possible.”
Work will begin immediately on implementing the other recommendations, including improving support to Family Managed Services.
The administrative review found that the Family Managed Services option, which allows families to hire their own staff or contract their own services, is both effective and efficient.
Families reported that they liked the flexibility and choice this voluntary option offered them, and the review found that the administrative costs of this option are low.
Other actions will focus on common processes, a single web site for the PDD program, and the development of a new technology system to ensure the PDD program is delivered consistently across the province.
In June, consultations will be held with stakeholders to discuss implementing a new contracting process for service providers. The consultation will consist of stakeholder meetings in six communities.
“I strongly believe that we are headed in the right direction with this careful and thoughtful approach to improving this program, while ensuring that there is no disruption in services to these vulnerable Albertans,” said Jablonski.
“I have provided written direction to the boards to continue working on the key areas of consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness, and I will be receiving quarterly updates from them on their progress.”
The report is available at seniors.alberta.ca.