The Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities connects children and adults with developmental disabilities to the services they need to live a great life. Since its origin, Ohio’s developmental disabilities system was designed to create opportunities for people based on personal choices. Today, the system has grown to encompass a network of paid and natural supports. The Board’s employees work with providers to create an array of options for people to find their perfect fit.
Since privatization, there has been a focus on innovation and collaboration. We continued to build on our strengths and our commitment to empower people of all abilities. We work with families, giving them intervention tools they need to help their children with special needs reach new milestones. To make this possible, we have evolved to meet the changing requirements and guidelines set forth by the state of Ohio.
An announcement by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities detailed the federal government’s ruling on how Ohio provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued rule effective March 17, 2017, stating that providers of certain Medicaid services cannot also be responsible for case management services. This is known as “Conflict Free Case Management.” Historically, Ohio’s system for delivering services to the developmental disabilities population was heavily reliant on local County Boards of Developmental Disabilities providing both direct services and case management.
The Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities has been addressing this issue for several years. In 1978 the County Board established the Thomas Edison Center, a private not for profit corporation, designed to provide services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities. Over the years, those services and supports have been provided by a combination of County Board and Thomas Edison Center employees. To address the conflict-free case management issue, the Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities has opted to transition many of the employees of the County Board over to the Thomas Edison Center Board. This removes the conflict that was in place and complies with the federal rule.
On July 1, 2015, the Board divested itself from the provision of direct services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Services since then have been provided by a variety of private providers including the Thomas Edison Center, Inc.