Those in Attendance
Kathy Morris – family member
Daughter: Lyra Morris
Grandmother: Madonna Melle
Lindy Rolston- family member
Son: Zachary Rolston
Daughter: Natalie Rolston
Jennifer Pineda- family member
Daughter: Emily unable to attend
The Arc of PA
Maureen Cronin, Ex Director for The Arc of PA
Sharon Richards, Vice President EI for Achieva
The Arc Alliance
Pat Leo- COO for The Arc Alliance
Nancy Stimson, Asst. Director for The Arc Alliance
Fran Crowe Asst. Director for The Arc Alliance
Scott Camilleri- Ex. Director for The Arc Alliance Foundation
Meeting with Governor Tom Wolf
On Friday January 26, 2018 The Arc Alliance and a few families who receive or have received Early Intervention from The Arc Alliance Children’s Services met with Governor Wolf and his staff to discuss the importance of Early Intervention and the need for increased support from the State. For over 8 years the state has not provided an increase in the rates they provide for any Early Intervention services. This lack of foresight has created significant financial challenges for Early Intervention providers across Pennsylvania.
The Arc Alliance Staff, in cooperation with The Arc of Pennsylvania and Achieva presented the Governor with the stark reality of how significant the lack of an increase has been on agencies who provide this critical service. The families shared both the positive impact of EI on their children as well as their concern for future families if funding is not addressed. Each parent provide a clear and passionate depiction of their situation and the role EI played in their family. We thank each family for their participation, sacrifice, and passion they supplied at this meeting.
Governor Wolf indicated his concern and support for the work of EI and his desire to assist with addressing this situation. He presented the all too common issue of a challenging budget and the need for legislators on both sides of the isle to support this need. He urged those present to continue their effort in advocating for change and presenting this concern to their local representatives.
So where do we go from here? We need your help contacting legislators in effort to raise their awareness, understanding and willingness to make the required changes to the upcoming budget. Without the pressure from families and the community, legislators will again overlook this critical need. The are many issues and causes that people and organizations are requesting assistance for, and unfortunately as the adage goes, “the squeaky wheel does receive attention”. Early Intervention is a critical services that has compounding positive implications for the child, their families, school districts and the community.
What can you say to your Legislator?
Let them know who you are, and share your story if time permits. Then simply let them know the following.
For over 8 years the state has not provided an increase in the rates they provide for any Early Intervention services (birth to 3 years of age).
The reality is that without a cost of living adjustment annually, providers like The Arc Alliance Children’s Services are left to juggle costs, reduce benefits, and deal with the long-term impact of these decisions.
Common sense tells you that if you receive the same rate while expenses continue to rise you will eventually hit a tipping point that no level of cut or reduction will solve. The Arc Alliance’s primary resource is their staff and the increased recruitment from the private sector with higher salaries and benefits, and limited travel compounds an already challenging problem.
The data and the reality of the situation have created a problem that demands both an immediate rate increase and a long-term plan to maintain an annual cost of living increase. Without this support it is uncertain how much longer charitable organizations like The Arc Alliance will be able to provide our community with this mandated and very much needed service.
We urge you to take the information provided in this post, use the link below and contact your legislator on behalf of The Arc Alliance Children’s Services.
Thank you for your support!