Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Activities
The Wood County Human Services Department is increasing efforts related to prevention of drug and alcohol abuse. This year, we began to partner with the Marshfield Area Coalition for Youth (MACY) and Healthy People Wood County (HPWC) in order to develop a comprehensive prevention plan. The plan includes participation on community coalitions including the Wood County Drug Task Force, MACY and HPWC Mental Health and AODA Coalitions. The plan also includes Human Services Department sponsorship and participation in community presentations and activities that are intended to promote education, understanding and open discussion of topics related to mental health, the impact of trauma, and drug and alcohol abuse in our community. Keep an eye out for information on upcoming presentations on these important topics.
Elderly and Disabled Transportation Program
Wood County Human Services Department Elderly and Disabled Transportation Program provides an important service to senior and disabled citizens in both the Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield areas. Since this program is subsidized by Federal, State and County dollars, there is a nominal charge for citizens who use this service. This service helps individuals that might not otherwise have transportation to get to medical appointments, shopping and other necessary events. Recently, the program and a few of the employees that make it happen were featured in a USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin article and video production.
Check out the story or watch the video on the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune or the Marshfield News Herald websites links below!
For more information please see the Wood County Human Services Elderly and Disabled Transportation webpage.
Autism Services Update Information
Prior to 1/1/16, when a family needed intensive autism services (in-home for 10-30 hours a week) for their child, our agency would evaluate them and once we determined they were eligible and in need of services the child went on a State waiting list for funding. The child could not be over 8 years old when they went on the list. The wait list time was sometimes over a year, and at a critical time of the child’s development.
The Center for Medicaid and Medicare (federal government) informed WI that these services needed to be an MA card service, available when needed and not a service to be on a wait list. Over the last year the WI Department of Health Services has been working to develop a system to accomplish this task.
Effective 1/1/2016 these intensive in-home services are available as an MA card service (like doctor visits and medication coverage). This brings several changes with it:
• The county does not evaluate to determine if a child qualifies for in-home services, this is performed by the provider of the services
• The child’s diagnosis does not have to be autism which potentially opens up services for other behaviorally challenged children
• The child can be older than eight when services start
• If the family/child is in need of other services (respite, daily living skills, equipment …) the family contacts human services for an assessment to determine eligibility for funding through Children’s Community Options Program or Children’s Long Term Support Waivers.
If the child has Medical Assistance, the family can call the agency they would like to work with to make a referral for themselves.
If the child does not have Medical Assistance, the family can contact their health insurance to determine if there is coverage, or determine if the child will be eligible for Medical Assistance.
Trauma Informed Care Approach
The Wood County Human Services Department began learning about what it means to utilize trauma informed principles of care as part of a department wide initiative. This process began with the development of a committee that includes employees from each service area throughout the department. Our vision for Trauma Informed Care is to empower and instill hope by understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of trauma and creating a safe environment for consumers, employees, partners and our communities.
Trauma Informed Care (TIC) shifts the perspective away from asking “what is wrong with you?” to instead ask “what has happened to you?”. We have recently completed an agency assessment that has provided information regarding areas of strengths and areas for improvements as we continue our journey towards becoming more trauma informed.
The principles of Trauma Informed Care align with our department mission, vision, and values; we believe that embracing the perspectives learned through research, regarding how traumatic stress can impact healing and recovery, we will have better outcomes for the consumers we serve.