By Margaret Nimmo Holland
Three enCircle staff members whose careers are dedicated to supporting people with developmental disabilities took time to speak to some of Virginia’s most powerful legislators during annual budget hearings last week. They testified in support of additional funding for Medicaid community-based services for people with developmental disabilities, including:
- the increased funding of $294 million for Medicaid waiver services for people with developmental disabilities in Gov. Northam’s budget—based on the higher costs of providing services; and
- the $43 million budget amendment to increase rates for services left out of his budget, including group homes with 5-8 residents.
Rhonda Craig, Direct Support Professional II, testified about the need for greater funding for community services such as enCircle’s Group Homes, in part to help with recruiting and retaining high-quality staff. Her dedication to and love for the residents of the Group Home she manages was clear in her remarks.
Daniel Kakitis, Regional Manager in Richmond and Tidewater, drew on his forty years of experience in the field to share the value of enCircle’s Family Care Providers in supporting adults with developmental disabilities in their own homes.
Director of Developmental Services Holly Rhodenhizer spoke specifically about the needs for additional funding for Group Homes with more residents in Northern Virginia to account for the higher cost of living and operating a home in this region. EnCircle is excited to be opening a new group home in partnership with Marian Homes this winter.
EnCircle will continue to advocate during the Virginia General Assembly, which convenes on January 12, on behalf of all those we serve. Stay tuned for updates!