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Advocacy Spotlight

DRP Successfully Advocates for Community Home for Youth with Disabilities Who was Unnecessarily Living in a Psychiatric Hospital

DRP worked on behalf of a  youth diagnosed with profound Intellectual Disability, Autism, and Intermittent Explosive Disorder.  The youth also had several medical needs, which included a gastrostomy tube and a tracheostomy tube.  The youth was placed at an ​​inpatient psychiatric hospital for several months due to his ​aggressive and self-injurious behaviors.  The hospital was several hours away from the family home, which prevented the family from maintaining frequent contact with the youth.  The youth was prepared for discharge, but remained at the psychiatric hospital because his family did not feel that they would be able to meet the youth’s complex needs and keep him and his family members safe in the home.  The youth also pulled his tubes out, which interfered with his breathing.  The youth required constant supervision to ensure that he was unable to remove the tubes.  The youth was approved for a community-based home, but there were no providers that would agree to serve him even though the youth would have a consolidated waiver spot as soon as he was discharged.  DRP staff collaborated with the discharge planning team members to advocate for an appropriate discharge resource to serve the youth.  A willing provider was ultimately identified.  This provider purchased a home near the youth’s family.  The provider was able to meet all of the youth’s behavioral health and medical needs, which included nursing and personal care staff.  After months of planning, the youth was able to successfully transition to the new home.  The youth’s family are now able to have an active role in his life and are able to visit him regularly.