Cape County board for disabled hiring director for casework program

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Cape County Board for Developmentally Disabled is going to hire an executive director to oversee the board's new targeted case management program.

Currently case management operates through a state office in Sikeston, Mo. Board chairwoman Dory Johnson said case workers there often have up to 60 clients, so localizing the service will mean a smaller case load and personal attention.

"This will mean more direct service," she said. "Case workers will be able to pinpoint what is best and provide better services for those with disabilities. There will be more options looked at."

Johnson said board members had talked about providing targeted case management for several years and many county SB40 boards have started providing it for clients.

The Madison County SB40 board started offering targeted case management in 2007. Before then, the Sikeston office provided targeted case management, but because of the distance from Madison County, executive director Clyde Clifton said, it was often difficult for case managers to meet with clients.

"It just made more sense to have it in the community. I am quite happy with it and I have received a lot of positive feedback," Clifton said.

Boards are reimbursed by Medicaid per client, in most cases, for case management.

"It is financially self-sufficient, and people with disabilities are receiving individualized care," Clifton said.

Johnson predicts the Cape Girardeau County case management program will also be self-sufficient.

The executive director hired by the Cape Girardeau County board to oversee the case management program will also be responsible for other duties, including grant writing.

Recent appointments in the Cape Girardeau County board have revitalized it, Johnson said. All the board members were present at a recent meeting, which hadn't happened often in recent years, she said.

"It was exciting to have all nine members present. There is so much to be done to get those services out there," she said.

Johnson said the August decision by the Cape Girardeau County Commission to transfer the deeds of two properties that house VIP Industries, a sheltered workshop contracted by the board, has provided a sense of security that the board can move forward.

"There is so much that can be done for more people," she said.

She said there are no plans to close the sheltered workshop.

The board's attorney is still looking over the deeds and determining easements, but Johnson said the official transfer is close.

cbartholomew@semissourian.com

243-8600

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