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Each summer, we begin our planning process for the coming year. We consider the current economic situation, listen to our various constituencies and look at federal and state mandates that may affect us to determine priorities for the coming year. We publish a draft Program & Expenditures Plan in September, inviting public comment, and present that draft plan at a public meeting immediately preceding the regularly scheduled October board meeting. Our board then votes on the plan at that board meeting. The Cuyahoga County Council must then review and approve our plan before the end of the year.
Here's a summary of our 2014 plan, or, if you want more details, here's the complete plan as well as our current annual report.
Shared Commitment 2015
We have announced a three-year plan called Shared Commitment 2015
to align expenses with the reality of reduced revenues. Over the next three years, we will reduce costs and use reserves to move to a balanced, sustainable budget. Wherever possible, we will minimize the impact on services by growing public-private partnerships to emphasize community inclusion, choice, healthy competition and service leadership.
In 2012, we implemented these steps:
- Moving early childhood services to a home- and community-based model. This is the direction that state and federal rules require, and we believe that it will improve our team approach and offer more coaching to families. We will NOT reduce the number of children and families served.
- Completing the transition of school-age students to public schools. Students are now served in school settings across the county by our behavior and curriculum intervention staff, early childhood intervention staff and speech-language therapists, occupational and physical therapists and adaptive computer staff and through our partnerships with the Educational Service Center.
- Because all eight of our adult activities centers were over their enrollment capacities, we began gradually reducing enrollment at those sites by 10 percent and specializing services within our facilities.
- At the same time, we worked (and continue to do so) with community providers to increase their capacity. The end result is more choices for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. We do NOT plan to close any of our adult centers.
- We continued to develop innovative community employment opportunities through our SAW, Inc. division and other community providers.
- As a result of these changes, we adjusted the mix of internal and external transportation service providers to meet the needs of our new service models.
- We managed our use of various Medicaid waivers to can serve more people but lessen our long-term funding needs.
- We delayed the purchase of additional community homes and reduced maintenance costs of existing homes by 25 percent.
- While we will continued to maintain high standards for our buildings, we reduced our operating expenses by 30 percent.
- As programs change, we re-examined building use.
- Within the coming three years, we will reduce our total number of employees by 100 (seven percent) through retirements, attrition and reductions in force.