RPC Earns National Award for Human Services Program Focused on Residents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The National Association of Counties 2019 Achievement Awards Seal

The RPC has been recognized with a 2019 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for a program focused on helping area residents who have intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). In the category of Human Services, the award honors the RPC’s Decision Support/Person-Centered Planning (for I/DD) program.

As a local enhancement of state-mandated case management for residents with I/DD, the RPC’s award-winning program extends and enhances services available through the Independent Service Coordination Unit (ISC). Community-based services and supports like Decision Support/Person-Centered Planning strive to help people live independently and be successful in their communities. Through the program, specialists assist individuals with the transition from high school to adult life, improving information and access to ensure services are aligned with their needs and ambitions.

“We are thrilled to receive this award and be recognized for the work we are doing in Champaign County,” comments Katie Harmon, a Community Services program manager with the RPC. “The funding we have received through the Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board has allowed us to develop unique programming and services and better support persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities while they are waiting for state-funded services.”

Decision Support/Person-Centered Planning (for I/DD) is offered to 40 people who use locally funded services and is believed to be the only such program in the state of Illinois. Administered by the RPC, the program is funded by the Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board (CCDDB), the local authority also responsible for planning and evaluating a system of services and supports for individuals with I/DD.

“This evolving program offered new services to residents with disabilities and improved the work of an existing government program,” says Lynn Canfield, Executive Director of the CCDDB who also nominated the RPC for the award. “It sought out and enhanced the participation of residents with disabilities and their loved ones, while promoting collaboration across separate units of government with shared accountability to citizens in need of services and to taxpayers.”

Canfield also says that, over the course of four years, Decision Support/Person-Centered Planning (for I/DD) grew in response to the needs of people with disabilities and the needs of the local funders, returning positive, measurable results. “This relatively small program also holds to a high standard of financial management and accountability,” she comments. NACo honors innovative programs that go beyond compliance with state and federal regulation, have measurable results, and are consistent with acceptable governmental and financial management practices.

According to NACo President Greg Cox, “Counties implement innovative programs that enhance residents’ quality of life every day. This year’s Achievement Award-winning programs demonstrate how counties build healthy, safe, and vibrant communities across America.”

Nationally, NACo gives awards in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. Categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement, and 12 others. NACo will recognize the RPC and organizations from other award-winning counties at its 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition, being held July 12-15 in Clark County, Nevada.

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received. NACo was founded in 1935 and brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government, and exercise exemplary leadership in public service.

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