The Best is Yet to Come in Oklahoma!

Dec 13
Karla Jones, Area Director
Dungarvin Oklahoma

Dungarvin Oklahoma has successfully completed three transitions as a result of institutional closures mandated in Oklahoma in 2012. The plan developed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to move 242 individuals into the community is now being implemented. The plan incorporates best practices determined by DHS to successfully move these individuals into homes in the community with the assistance needed to live safe, healthy and productive lives. No stone has been left unturned and the plan includes safeguards that prohibit a transition unless all services are in place. Dungarvin Oklahoma has worked diligently and arm-in-arm with DDSD Staff, families, professional providers and countless other key players to make these transitions as smooth as possible.

Post-transition activities also ensure that quality services are maintained. They include 30-, 60- and 90-day Quality Assurance Reviews, frequent visits from the Office of Client Advocacy as well as unannounced visits from key staff from the state DHS office.

Although the journey to transition these individuals has been long and challenging, the fantastic result is that three individuals are now living in a beautiful home in our community. They are closer to their families and Dungarvin now has the opportunity to help facilitate the growth of these relationships. Individuals will have more opportunities for daily outings and will attend a daily program to enhance their social lives that will foster long lasting friendships and connections.

Some challenges conuntered have included finding appropriate housing, securing architectural modifications, locating community professional providers, securing ample staff, and ensuring that all staff is trained in all aspects of the individuals’ lives. All of which were achieved because of the team work demonstrated by all parties involved. As we sit back and reflect on these first few transitions, the prospect of going through this again soon is exciting despite all of the challenges. We are currently working on three more transitions and are gearing up for more over the next year. Both institutions will be closed by August 31, 2015.

The best is yet to come. When the dust settles from the hustle and bustle of transitions and we begin to see the lives of these individuals begin to flourish, as opportunities to experience things unknown to them become reality, and as families visit more regularly because they are closer, the real reward will be revealed.

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