State And Participants Alike Like 'Real Life Choices'
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 17, 2005
TRENTON, NEW JERSEY--Two years into New Jersey's Real Life Choices program, about 100 adults with disabilities are receiving the supports they need to stay with families in their own homes rather than in institutions or group homes.
Under the program, a family can receive between $14,000 and $63,000 per year, depending on the person's disabilities, to support the person at home. An added benefit is that the person and the family decide how the money is spent, whether that be for transportation, in-home health aides, modifications to the home, and so forth.
According to the Division of Developmental Disabilities, institutions, supervised apartment and group homes cost the state between $90,000 and $140,000 per person each year.
Last week, Department of Human Services commissioner James Davy visited some of the people who have been served through this model of self-directed supports.
"It makes sense for the individuals (and) the family, and makes sense for the state," Davy told the Burlington County Times, adding that he would like to see the program expanded to cover some of the other 3,100 people listed as needing such supports.
"It's more family oriented and promotes independence. It enables individuals to stay at home with their loved ones."
"Delran family welcomed into new state program" (Burlington County Times)
Real Life Choices (New Jersey - Department of Human Services - Division of Developmental Disabilities)