County Board Shared Service Meeting

On September 26, 2011 Carroll County Board of Developmental Disabilities President Melissa Fletcher and Superintendent Matt Campbell were asked to meet with the Governor at the Statehouse with 15 other county DD agencies. The hour long meeting focused on how county developmental disabilities were sharing services to reduce costs. Carroll County Board is part of Mid-East Ohio Regional Council which is a council of government formed by 18 county boards. The Department of Developmental Disabilities started a pilot project called the county collaborative with 18 county boards.

Governor Kasich requested the meeting to discuss the success of county boards quest to be more efficient as revenues continue to reduce. Tuscarawas Superintendent Natalie Lupi and Licking Superintendent Nancy Neely presented the county collaborative approach to become more customer focused, standardize processes for more efficient and effective service delivery, and promote continuous quality improvement. Typically the 88 counties maintain separate systems and procedures which customers find to be inefficient. The collaborative has been working since 2009 to standardize intake, eligibility, assessment, plan development, and monitoring among the 18 county boards. Data indicates that families want a simpler system and the current state of the economy makes current business practices too costly.

The Governor heard from other shared services from County Boards' representatives. Belmont, Harrison, and Noble counties were the first to share superintendent services and have continued sharing of other administrative positions. Other county boards sharing superintendents are Belmont and Harrison, Fairfield and Vinton, Coshocton and Knox, Champaign and Shelby, and Henry and Ottawa. Some County Boards have been sharing administrative positions such as Workshop Director and community employment such as Perry and Hocking.

Carroll County currently purchases supports for community employment from Tuscarawas County. The Board also purchases services from Mid-East Ohio Regional Council for major unusual incident investigator, quality assurance, etc. Carroll County Board is able to share services in county with Carrollton Exempted Village School District for mechanic services. This sharing of staff responsibilities along county lines and even in county with other agencies allows quality services and cost savings among these agencies. The ability to reduce administrative costs makes it possible to place more money into direct services and reduce waiting lists for services.

The meeting with Governor Kasich was very encouraging. He made it very clear his eagerness to support county boards’ progress in sharing services. "County Boards of DD have always been on the forefront of innovation when it comes to social-service agencies," said Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities Director John Martin, "we are very supportive of efforts like these to make sure our state's most vulnerable are not harshly affected by our state’s tough financial situation."