An Analysis of Federal and State Policies Affecting Services to Mentally Retarded and Other Developmentally Disabled Persons: State Perspectives Final Report


This study analyzes how federal policies and programs influenced state policy choices with respect to expanding family and community care. The study presents an in-depth review of six state mental retardation/developmentally disabled service systems (Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia). Data collection and analysis emphasized discussions with key policymakers and program operators in each of the six states as well as a review of relevant documents and reports supplied by those interviewed. The study revealed that state policy decisions and overall emphasis on community-based, as opposed to institution-based services, are the result of interactions between a complex array of factors including the philosophical commitment of the state, a healthy state economy and the existence of strong, well-organized advocacy on behalf of family and community services. In general, state respondents viewed federal policies and programs, with the exception of the Home and Community-Based Care Waivers, as creating barriers to community-based services. [156 PDF pages]

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