An Analysis of IDD Policy in Maryland: Past, Present, and Future
Maryland has a rich history of advocating for individuals with IDD, dating back to the mid-20th century. The state’s initial focus was on institutional care, with large-scale institutions serving as the primary form of support. However, the emergence of the civil rights movement and the deinstitutionalization movement in the 1960s and 1970s prompted a paradigm shift. Maryland, like many other states, began transitioning from a reliance on institutions to community-based care models.
Deinstitutionalization and the Rise of Community-Based Care
Deinstitutionalization brought about a shift toward providing services and supports in community settings, promoting individual choice, independence, and integration. IDD case management emerged as a critical component of this transition, ensuring that individuals received person-centered planning, coordination of services, and ongoing support.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Maryland further strengthened its commitment to community-based care through the creation of the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA). This agency played a crucial role in implementing policies and programs aimed at supporting individuals with IDD. IDD case management became an integral part of the system, working to assess individual needs, develop comprehensive care plans, and coordinate services across various providers and agencies.
The Evolving Role of IDD Case Management
Over the years, IDD case management has evolved to address the changing needs of individuals with IDD. Case managers now focus on enhancing self-determination, promoting community integration, and ensuring access to appropriate supports and services. They act as advocates, empowering individuals with IDD to exercise their rights, make informed decisions, and achieve their goals.
Current-Day Policy Landscape
In recent years, Maryland has continued to prioritize the expansion and improvement of IDD services and supports. The state has embraced person-centered planning, which places individuals with IDD at the center of decision making regarding their lives and services. IDD case management plays a pivotal role in this process by facilitating effective communication, promoting collaboration among service providers, and advocating for individual preferences and needs. (Ask about TMP in Maryland)
Moreover, Maryland has implemented initiatives to enhance community integration and employment opportunities for individuals with IDD. Supported employment programs and inclusive educational settings have been key focal points, promoting self-sufficiency and meaningful engagement. IDD case managers have been instrumental in guiding individuals through these transitions, ensuring they have the necessary resources and supports to thrive.
As the field of IDD policy and case management continues to evolve, Maryland faces new challenges and opportunities. Ongoing efforts are required to address service gaps, promote equitable access, and further enhance community integration. Collaborative partnerships between IDD case managers, service providers, and advocacy organizations will be crucial in shaping the future of IDD policy in Maryland. (More info on the HCBS Conference in Maryland)
Maryland’s history of IDD policy exemplifies the state’s commitment to person-centered care and community integration. The evolution of IDD case management has been instrumental in supporting individuals with IDD, facilitating their access to services, and promoting their self-determination. As Maryland moves forward, it is essential to build upon these foundations, ensuring that IDD case management remains a vital component of the state’s policy framework, empowering individuals with IDD to live fulfilling lives within their communities.