Each year, Inland Regional Center collects data regarding how Purchase of Service (POS) dollars are spent. During the last fiscal year, disparities were identified in the following categories: (1) Consumers with Autism and (2) Hispanic/Spanish speaking Consumers. Consumers in these categories are more likely to receive no purchased services than Consumers in other categories that were studied.
In January, IRC made the 2015-16 Fiscal Year Purchase of Service data available on inlandrc.org and has since been collecting community input online. On March 30, IRC’s Community Engagement team hosted an event to allow Consumers and families to share their suggestions in person. During the “Share Your Story” event IRC representatives discussed the disparities in services and proposed solutions. Consumers and parents were then able to engage with IRC Staff, including the executive team, by expressing their concerns and suggestions during the open forum portion of the event. Sessions were presented in English and Spanish.
The following are strategies currently being implemented to help reduce these disparities.
1. Inland Regional Center (IRC) has hired a bilingual Diversity Outreach Coordinator (DOC) to design and implement outreach projects focused on the underserved populations identified in the Purchase of Service Disparity Data. Additionally, the DOC will foster relationships with IRC Service Coordinators to help identify trends in POS from the case management perspective and will create staff trainings on POS disparity and cultural competence.
2. To reduce POS disparity within the diagnosis of Autism, IRC has partnered with Fiesta Educativa, an organization dedicated to empowering families of persons with disabilities. Fiesta Educativa will serve as the IRC Service Provider for the Autism Parent Education Program (APEP). APEP provides parents a deeper understanding of Autism while assisting them in determining services they may find beneficial. APEP topics include Autism, behaviors, socialization, communication, insurance funding and service/supports, with an emphasis on Autism services.
3. To reduce the POS disparity within the Spanish speaking/Hispanic population, IRC has partnered with Fiesta Educativa to provide the Fiesta Familiar Program. Fiesta Familiar is an educational program designed for families of individuals with developmental disabilities. It takes into account the social, cultural, and linguistic characteristics of Hispanic families. Fiesta Familiar will be held monthly and is made up of 2-3 hour modules. Topics include: explanation of services by type, service provision, the Individual Program Plan process, how to access services, etc. The course will be taught by parents with a strong working knowledge of the regional center; curriculum will be created in collaboration with IRC.
Detailed information about how IRC spends Purchase of Service dollars can be found in the complete Purchase of Service Data report. If you would like to provide input or suggestions about IRC’s Purchase of Service data/disparities please contact our Community Engagement team at [email protected].
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