January 23, 2023
Nate Crippes / Public Affairs Supervising Attorney
Andrew Riggle / Public Policy Advocate
(801) 363-1347 / (800) 662-9080
Home and community-based services providers strive to provide high quality care, help Utahns with disabilities be integrated, and ensure that they direct their own lives. Unfortunately, a growing number of individuals cannot access services or risk losing their services because of a high turnover and vacancy rate among support staff.
For example, I’m still living at home with my parents because a home health agency hasn’t been able to find someone in the morning and evening seven days a week since August. The staff shortage also means people with disabilities have had to stay home from their programming, move into larger settings, or been discharged from their provider. One parent told us their children are experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts, Another said their child was admitted to the hospital.
Utahns discharged from a provider, and those newly entering the system, are having trouble finding a new one. The DLC has received calls about individuals facing discharge to a facility or homeless shelter. This emergency will only worsen when 400-450 more individuals seek services if parental caregiver compensation is discontinued. This is why we appreciate Senator Harper’s effort and the governor’s request to make the program ongoing.