It’s A New Month and New Beginning for CSLN!
October marks the start of an exciting new chapter for CSLN members and the people we serve.
We are thrilled to announce that CSLN is taking an extraordinary step forward this fall with a newly appointed Board of Directors, a newly hired Executive Director AND a ground-breaking new grant project that will help PAVE the way forward to a brighter future. This progress builds upon years of hard work by our dedicated members and previous Board Executives, who have positioned CSLN to be an even greater force for positive change.
First, let’s start with the P.A.V.E. Project. It’s a Person-centered, Advocacy, Vision and Education Project made possible by a grant from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. It’s the first of its kind and will help us all work to ensure quality-based outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Specifically, the Project will create a unique Advisory Group, tasked with creating a blueprint to PAVE the way for a brighter future. The Advisory Group will include forward-thinking stakeholders from around California and will work to:
We look forward to sharing more on this Project and how you can apply to be part of PAVE.
Second, to help us complete work on the PAVE Project, we hired our first Executive Director, Mark Melanson, a fearless advocate who comes to CSLN with 33 years of experience in the field of Human Services. Mark has served on the CSLN Board for the past 10 years and now will also be an important part of our future. In addition to PAVE, Mark will work to increase membership and improve membership benefits while growing our presence at the State Capitol among legislators and the Newsom Administration. He will soon announce new training and webinar opportunities along with our first annual CSLN Public Policy Conference – scheduled for January 2020.
Finally, we’re happy to announce the following changes in officers on the CSLN Board of Directors.
Deb Callahan, President
Kevin Rath, Vice President
Kristoffel van de Burgt, Treasurer
Rebecca LaBoriel, Secretary
We want to congratulate Mark and our new Board, as we also say “thank you” to the countless advocates who have helped build CSLN into the force it is today.
We have much work ahead, but we are confident we can create an inclusive path forward that supports dignity, choice and equal opportunity for all of C alifornia’s developmentally disabled community.
Please be sure to update Marks contact information:
Mark N Melanson
California Supported Living Network
2801 B Street
San Diego, CA 92102
Phone: (415) 505-5975
Jacquie Dillard Foss
Kristoffell van de Burgt
For Immediate Release
New California Budget Data Shows Staggering Deficits in Developmental Services Funding
March 18, 2019
Landmark Report Shows $1.8 Billion Shortfall For People With Developmental Disabilities
Sacramento, CA. - California Supported Living Network (CSLN) released the following statement today in response to the newly released vendor rate study by the California Department of Developmental Services, which shows staggering budget deficits in community-based services for people with developmental disabilities.
“The State’s landmark rate study confirms in shocking detail what we experience every day – that community-based programs supporting Californians with developmental disabilities are grossly underfunded, causing a workforce crisis that now jeopardizes the health, safety and well-being of people with developmental disabilities,” said Jacquie Dillard-Foss, governmental affairs co-chair for the California Supported Living Network. “It’s time for Legislators to act. CSLN is eager to help lead the way and partner with the State, consumers and direct support providers to reverse the current workforce shortage, help professionalize direct support providers and ensure people with developmental disabilities receive the quality services they should expect and deserve.” #WhatsMyWorth
“The State’s own data is staggering, demonstrating how California has chronically underfunded community-based services by 40% and left an unprecedented $1.8 Billion shortfall in necessary funding for people with developmental disabilities,” said Mark Melanson, president of the California Supporting Living Network. “We hope this study marks an important change of course - an opportunity to recognize and professionalize the disability services workforce while providing them the competitive wages necessary to recruit, train and retain critical support staff. They deserve more. And so do the more than 330,000 Californians with developmental disabilities.”
The California State Legislature ordered this unprecedented vendor rate study in 2016 as part of California ABX2 1. The goal of the two-year study was to assess the sustainability, quality and transparency of community-based services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The California Department of Developmental Servicesreleased the study March 15, 2019, with staggering fiscal results. The study demonstrates how service providers and community-based programs are dramatically underfunded - by as much as 96% for some service categories - requiring $1.8 Billion to make up the funding deficit. More than 330,000 Californians with developmental disabilities require community-based services to help them live and work as independently as possible, but chronic underfunding of the system has caused a workforce shortage crisis. CSLN recently released its own study detailing how service provider wages are unable to compete with many minimum wage entry-level jobs.
The California Supported Living Network is a diverse network of nearly 100 service agencies that provide quality community-based services for people with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities. The network employs nearly 100,000 people who provide hands-on services to 29,000 clients in their homes, communities or workplaces. These direct service professionals work every day to ensure their clients receive the quality, reliable and sustainable services they need and deserve.
Front Page of the SF Chronicle 3/18/19