ATWOOD -The continuation of shortfalls in funding for Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas has once again caused the organization to restructure many of its services for people with developmental disabilities across northwest Kansas, according to a DSNWK media release.
“Needless to say, we continue to be frustrated with the lack of needed funding for Kansans with developmental disabilities,” said Jerry Michaud, DSNWK president. “Each year, we seem to find ourselves losing ground when we have to face inflation along with rising health care and operating costs,”
The restructuring also became necessary as DSNWK has felt the effects of chronic staffing shortages in some locations. Solutions to these pressing concerns, as well as adapting to the ever-changing business environment, require a structure that embodies the most efficient approaches to meet the current and anticipated future needs of those we serve.
DSNWK’s restructuring will include the closing of one group home in Atwood, where changes were needed due to a chronic workforce shortage in that area. The closing of the Atwood home will result in persons served relocating within DSNWK, or elsewhere if they should so choose.
In addition, DSNWK will be realigning its services to support persons served in the most appropriate settings to meet their individual needs (i.e. medical, behavioral and dementia related issues, etc.). All individuals, regardless of whether they moved to a new location, will continue to receive the same quality services they were previously receiving.
“We have been making changes and reductions in services almost every year since 2008. Erosion on roads, hillsides and on farm ground can be seen and felt. The state’s chronic under-funding of the system has been resulting in erosion of a different kind,” Michaud said. “These unfortunate disruptions in people’s lives, have been brought on by a decade of inaction, caused by the lack of full funding for the community service network across the state of Kansas. Our hope is that the Legislature will finally make adequate funding of community services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities their top priority.”
Even though DSNWK is restructuring its services, the organization remains steadfast in its commitment to maintaining quality services for the individuals it serves throughout the 18 counties of northwest Kansas.