Iowa Valley announces upcoming changes for Marshall/Tama CDCs
Iowa Valley Career Development Center staff, county caseworkers, and families of the Marshall and Tama County Career Development Center (CDC) consumers were informed Monday about changes in service providers that will take place before July 1.
Operated by Iowa Valley Continuing Education since the early 1980s, the Marshall and Tama County CDCs assist adults with disabilities in community-based programs that seek integration of the consumers into their respective communities. The CDCs provide individualized vocational training, with emphasis on personal-social skills, communication skills, daily living skills, pre-vocational development, and paid work activities.
The Marshall County CDC currently serves 22-25 consumers on any given day, and the Tama County CDC serves 16-17 consumers.
According to Jacque Goodman, Vice Chancellor of Iowa Valley Continuing Education, as of June 30 the community college district will no longer be involved with the CDC programming. Iowa Valley is working with multiple other service providers, who anticipate being able to offer the same kinds of services and transition the consumers to their organizations prior to June 30.
“There are sound fiscal and programmatic reasons for what we’re doing, but our absolute top priority in our planning has been to ensure that our consumers and their families are able to make a smooth and successful transition to other quality services as they become available during the next few months,” explains Goodman. “We are making the assurance that our consumers will continue to have access to quality pre-vocational and adult day services that meet their needs and the needs of their families.”
According to Goodman, the reasons Iowa Valley is transitioning the CDC programs to other service providers are two-fold: 1) over the years, funding across the state has been cut, impacting program and service delivery in several areas, education being one of them, and 2) programs that are Medicaid-funded will have more resources available to them, benefitting consumers, families and staff and leading to longer-term sustainability of the programming. The community college district is not prepared to become a Medicaid program provider.
“It’s not news to anyone that funding for state programs and services has not kept pace with the need and demand, nor with the cost of providing those programs and services,” says Goodman. “That is as true for education, and Iowa’s community colleges, as it is for many other sectors.”
“The Medicaid waiver program is the real kicker for us,” Goodman continues. “In the past, our CDC programs have been funded with a combination of county and state funds. Beginning last July, the state took over the federal Medicaid Match program and set a goal that all county programs that qualified for Medicaid funding would be funded by Medicaid. The CDC programs do qualify for Medicaid funding, but we’ve not sought it because Iowa Valley is not a Medicaid provider … that’s really a medical health/mental health/social services program. The community college is not prepared to take all the complicated steps that would be required to handle Medicaid. It just makes far more sense, from a financial and programming standpoint, to transition these programs from Iowa Valley to providers who are already Medicaid certified and able to offer that programming.”
Dr. Christopher Duree, IVCCD Chancellor, echoed Goodman’s position on the waiver issue. “Iowa Valley feels not only a strong educational tie to the CDC consumers and families, but also an emotional one. We will ensure that this transition of programming from the community college to other service providers goes smoothly, and we know that the county CPC coordinators and caseworkers will work hand-in-hand with the families to ensure that no one will have unanswered questions, no one will flounder, and no one will be without the support and services they need.”