August 28, 2017
Many of the services that STEP provides to children and adults are funded through Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), which oversees the Developmental Disabilities Program (DDP). DPHHS recently announced that funding for Montana Milestones Early Intervention (Part C) services to infants and toddlers to age 3 and for Family Education & Support (FES) services to clients age 3 to 21 will be cut by 25%.
DPHHS originally indicated that these cuts would be effective on October 1, 2017. We were recently notified that the cuts would be effective December 31, 2017. We have rigorously examined our current operations and resources, and we’ve explored a wide range of alternatives for adapting to this severe funding downgrade. We have concluded that a 25% cut at any pint during the year makes it impossible for us to provide quality, meaningful, and relevant services that address the unique needs of each family while still achieving the stringent requirements of state and federal regulations. We have notified DDP and our clients that we anticipate discontinuing our Early Intervention (Part C) and Family Education & Support (FES) services effective September 30, 2017. Please note that if these circumstances change, we will promptly post updated information.
We realize that this situation creates enormous uncertainty for our clients and community partners. We deeply regret taking this action, but we have found no other viable option. We encourage you to contact state officials and legislators about the impact these cuts will have; following is a link to state contact information and sample letters that may be helpful:
We intend to work closely with DPHHS and DDP to implement their transition plan, and we will strive to make the process as smooth as possible for everyone involved. We encourage you to call us with any questions or concerns, and we will share whatever information we have.
STEP services that are funded by Montana’s 0208 Home & Community Based Services Medicaid Waiver (those that come with an Individual Cost Plan), private pay, other waivers (such as Montana Big Sky Home & Community Based Services Medicaid Waiver), or insurance benefits are not affected by this change.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions. Thank you for your interest in STEP services.
We believe that our employees are our greatest assets and that, as we believe in fostering growth for the people that are receiving services, we also emphasize professional growth for our staff. We maintain relevancy in our profession by attending cutting edge training, obtaining pertinent certifications and licensures, and collaborating with other successful agencies on knowledge acquisition.
Program Administration, Family Services & Community Inclusion
Tara has worked in the field of services to people with disabilities for over 18 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education, and has earned many professional certifications and honors. Tara’s work in this field is fueled by her ardent belief that everyone’s life can be better, and can move closer to their cherished hopes and aspirations. Tara can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 406-869-3008.
Alicia manages the team who works at STEP’s community home and in supported living. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and extensive supervisory experience in the private sector. Alicia previously supervised the community home. She is dedicated to putting families and clients at the center of all we do at STEP, to ensure that we support them to reach the goals that are of value to them. If you would like to contact Alicia please call 406-855-4667 or email email@example.com.
Maureen has worked in the fiscal department at STEP for over 16 years. She has a strong background and previous work experience in accounting, and currently heads our fiscal and administrative services as Senior Fiscal Manager. Maureen is passionate about keeping our services continually focused on our clients. Maureen can be contacted by calling 406-869-3002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Education. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Special Education with an Applied Behavioral Analysis Emphasis. She has worked in the childcare field for over 12 years. She also worked in Community Inclusion centers in South Dakota and Montana serving children and adults with disabilities. She is passionate about making a difference by collaborating with community resources to meet the needs of people we serve. Jennifer can be reached at email@example.com or 406-220-2478.
Leslie joined the STEP team in 2016. Her broad experience includes benefits, employee relations, bookkeeping, payroll and management. She graduated with her BA in Music Management. Leslie enjoys meeting people who are compassionate and want to make a difference in the lives of others. Leslie and her family moved to Billings from the Washington D.C. area in 2006. To contact Leslie email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 406-869-3031.