Advocating for individualized community supports for Louisiana’s citizens who experience developmental disabilities
LaCAN is a statewide grassroots network of individuals and families who have worked together since 1988 advocating for a system that supports individuals to live in their own homes rather than having to move to a facility to receive needed services. Specifically, they have advocated for implementation of Louisiana’s Community and Family Support System Plan.
LaCAN provides information and support to individuals wishing to effectively advocate for the expansion and improvement of community and family support services for people with disabilities and their families through email updates, regional workshops, regional team leaders, and personal contact.
Linking lawmakers and families to make a difference for individuals with disabilities.
Passage of Act 378 of 1989 that establishes Louisiana’s Community and Family Support System.
Passage of Act 481 of 2007 which provides a recurring source of funding for New Opportunities Waiver (NOW) slots.
Appropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars for Waiver Services and State Funded Individual and Family Support Services.
Summary of Accomplishments:
8,682 NOW slots are currently funded.
Almost 2,000 families receive a monthly cash subsidy to assist with the extraordinary costs they incur to care for their children with severe disabilities.
Individuals with adult-onset disabilities and mental health needs across the state are living successfully in their own homes with state funded individualized supports.
Approximately 2,500 children and adults with developmental disabilities are receiving state funded supports in their own homes regardless of their Medicaid eligibility.
These accomplishments will move Louisiana forward in reducing its reliance on an outdated system of institutional care to provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities.
Accomplishments in 2010
- 150 additional New Opportunities Waiver (NOW) Slots
- The closure of Northeast Supports and Services (Developmental) Center
- The downsizing of the remaining developmental centers by 20%
- 425 Children’s Choice Waiver Slots
- $4.2 Million to be used to speed up the processing of waiver slots and for one-time expenses for individuals with DD and their families (These funds were deposited into the Community and Family Support Fund from the sale of Metropolitan Developmental Center)
Accomplishments in 2011
- In spite of the state’s budget shortfall, LaCAN members successfully advocated for the restoration of drastic cuts to the Department of Health and Hospital’s (DHH) budget. DHH indicated these cuts would slash or eliminate home and community based services such as the Cash Subsidy program and Individual and Family Support services, and result in another 7.5 percent rate cut to providers.