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The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board will begin examining options to draw more federal funding to its programs serving people with intellectual disabilities.

The recommendation came out of a review of the CSB’s program by an independent consultant, TransCen, that the county hired to help find long-term solutions to the CSB’s budget challenges.

TransCen reviewed the CSB’s employment program and day support services for people with intellectual disabilities. They interviewed staff, interviewed stakeholders and looked at how these types of services are provided in other states.

The consultant made four recommendations, two of which were aimed at leveraging more federal funds to enable the CSB to expand its services.

This would involve using local matching funds for federal dollars, something county supervisors are a little reticent about. The county has often asked the state to expand funding for these services.

“We don’t want to send mixed messages to the state,” said Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence).

The CSB is gathering more information about this option and will present its recommendation to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in late June.

The other recommendations involved changing how people are served by the programs that help young adults once they graduate from Fairfax County Public Schools.

TransCen said the CSB should create incentives for the vendors it works with to provide supported employment services, rather than other types of daytime services, because it lowers long-term costs.

“Once you get somebody in a job setting and get the supports in successfully, the costs go down over time,” said Alan Wooten, director of community living for the CSB.

If the agency should need to place new graduates on a waiting list for services, TransCen recommended that those who already have employment should receive priority, to maximize long-term savings.

The CSB agreed to promote different types of services and to work with the school system to explore new transition to work options for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

kschumitz@fairfaxtimes,com