NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Many parents with disabled adult children say other parents should not fear privatization following the layoff of hundreds of state workers.
These parents say their sons and daughters are doing well with the non-profit private providers through the state Department of Developmental Services. The Governor says using private providers more is a national trend and he’s right about that. Several parents we spoke with today say it’s working well for them.
Twenty-five-year-old Karl Arezzini now has his own apartment in New Haven. With help from a non-profit health aid agency called Marrakech, and the Chapel Haven Day Program, Karl is doing quite well. He is from a musical family and plays the cello every day. His parents say they are very pleased with the help he gets from the private, non-profit agencies that serve him through the state Department of Developmental Services.Related Content: Parents & guardians beg Malloy to rescind latest layoffs
They say they sympathize with the parents who spoke out earlier this week fearing that the layoffs of state DDS workers will be difficult for their adult children.
“Karl has many staff at Chapel Haven and changes and also had changes at Marrakech and he’s thriving,” said Karl’s mom Lynn Arezzini.
“As a mom I can certainly feel their apprehension and their concern and their worry. Change is very frightening to anyone,” said Sue Bastien of Cheshire.
And Sue should know. She has four adult sons ages 32 to 52. Two with severe autism that have all transitioned from state operated facilities to private, non profit providers.
“Another son moved out of a hospital step down unit and is in a private provider placement where there’s round the clock nursing and doing very well,” said Bastien.
Another mom, Lauralyn Lewis of Old Lyme talked about her son.
“Justin is more independent than some of these other folks that you’ve been interviewing the families of. He’s had a lot to navigate, but he lives independently in a studio apartment,” said Lewis.
Lauralyn and the others are part of a parents group called ‘Families First.”
The Governor’s office says after this latest round of layoffs at the end of the year and more people are transitioned to the private providers, the state should end up saving about $70 million.