Marji Erickson Warfield, Ph.D. Scientist 415 South Street Waltham, MA 02454 Phone: 781-736-3833 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toddlerhood (1-2 years)
Early Childhood (3-5 years)
Middle Childhood (6-11 years)
Description of project. The proposed project will evaluate a Medicaid supportive services waiver program in Massachusetts that uses a participant direction (PD) model to choose and manage services for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Families work with a support broker from one of seven local Autism Resource Centers to choose services, supports, and providers. A case manager from a state agency coordinates the clinical services, and a worker from a fiscal intermediary helps families with provider management and payment responsibilities. The evaluation has two specific aims: (1) assess how well PD systems are implemented; and (2) understand the variation in implementation across families and assess what predicts family well-being and child progress. Needs to be addressed and services provided. The PD model is designed to allow families to define their needs and choose services that meet those needs. The waiver allows these lowincome families the chance to access the additional, intensive services used by many wealthier families with children with ASD. The waiver pays for 3 years of supportive services for up to $25,000 per year, with $7,000 for equipment, home modifications, community integration, and respite, and the rest for one-to-one, in-home professional habilitation services. Populations served. The waiver now serves 100 families with incomes low enough to qualify for Medicaid. Outreach is conducted in 8 languages, and one-fifth of the applicants had a primary language other than English. The clients reside in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Research design and data collection. We propose five steps to evaluate implementation (Aim I): (1) a staff focus group to define PD program components and weigh their relative importance to success, (2) a survey of about 30 staff to assess implementation of the components, (3) interviews with about 28 staff at high- and low-scoring sites about barriers to and facilitators of implementation, (4) in-depth interviews of 16 families at these sites concerning their experiences with PD, and (5) collection of administrative and cost data. The state will use the findings to revise the PD program in 2010 and we will assess the revision. We propose three steps to evaluate the impact of the individual variation in implementation and use of services on family and child outcomes (Aim II): (1) conduct in-home interviews with 77 families who have participated in the waiver program for 18 to 24 months and 30 families who entered the program later and will have participated for about 6 months, (2) access child and family baseline assessment data from the state data base, and (3) using therapists' quarterly progress notes, develop a scale for assessing individual child progress and code data using that scale. A series of multiple regression models will test hypotheses regarding both predictors of utilization and family PD experiences and the influence of the PD experience on child progress and family wellbeing and satisfaction. Principal needs and problems addressed. The project will provide insight into the feasibility, costs, and impacts of a PD service model for families with children with ASD. It is responsive to Healthy People 2010 of producing findings to improve health and well-being of people with disabilities.
Autism, Developmental Disabilities, Special Health Care Needs, Health Education & Family Support, Coordination of Services, Mental Health & Wellbeing, Access to Health Care, Immigrant Populations