Budget Papers – Long-Term Supports for Children with Disabilities

2011-2013 Legislative Budget and Priorities – Long Term Supports for Children with Disabilities

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COMPASSWisconsin streamlines eligibility, coordinates services and provides a unified access point for the Katie Beckett, Family Support, and Waiver Programs.

Survival Recommendations:

  • Promote Cost-Effectiveness: Improve information, short-term assistance and eligibility determination by streamlining current programs by expanding COMPASSWisconsin beyond Racine and Walworth counties.
  • End Waiting Lists: Continue the commitment to end waiting lists for children by funding an additional 1,000 children during the biennium.
  • Improve Coordination and Delivery of Services and Supports: Increase the capacity of the Department of Health Services staff to provide quality assurance and oversight to counties implementing COMPASSWisconsin. The rollout of Family Care has had a major impact on county capacity to serve children with disabilities and increased the need for training and technical assistance to counties.
  • Increase Access to Health Care: Make a statutory change in BadgerCare to provide comprehensive medical coverage for children eligible for Medicaid whose needs can not be met by the benchmark plan. This is a group of children who could be eligible for long term supports due to their worsening medical condition brought on by lack of access to needed medications and other medical care (children with CF, transplants, cancer, epilepsy etc).


Children with significant disabilities can have extraordinary needs that require supports and services that go beyond a family’s capacity to meet. Families benefit from long-term supports that are well coordinated with other systems that support children, flexible to meet unique family needs, and timely to prevent crisis situations. Unfortunately, for many families, the lack of access to information, supports and services compromise their quality of life making it difficult and sometimes impossible for them to care for their children, maintain jobs, and keep their family intact.

COMPASSWisconsin reflects the recommendations of families, providers, advocates, counties and DHS to improve our system of long term supports for children. These improvements will reduce waiting lists, improve cost effectiveness, prevent crisis that result in more costly services, reduce duplication, consolidate and streamline eligibility and connect families to community resources. Many of the tools needed for

COMPASSWisconsin have been developed, piloted and implemented (functional screen, CLTS waivers, county participation, parental payment liability, regional information & referral). What is needed is the opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of a system that integrates these tools within a coordinated framework.

For additional information contact: Liz Hecht, hecht@Waisman.Wisc.Edu.