State Proposes $240 Million Investment in Developmental Services Programs

BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll administration’s FY 2024 budget proposal allocates more than $240 million toward Department of Developmental Services (DDS) day and work programs and allocates an additional $204.5 million in annualized rate increases to support the direct-care workforce. The budget proposal also allocates $98 million to DDS Family Support and Respite services, in addition to increasing funding toward DDS adult autism services to $52.5 million next fiscal year.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh recently joined Commissioner of Disability Services Jane Ryder and local municipal and legislative leaders on a visit to DDS-supported programs to highlight key funding for disability services in the Healey-Driscoll administration’s FY 2024 budget proposal. On a tour of Pathlight’s Milestones Day Program, Family Empowerment Center, and Autism Connections Support Center, as well as ServiceNet’s Rooster Cafe, Walsh and Ryder met with staff and program participants to discuss the impact of this critical funding on day and employment supports.

“The Healey-Driscoll administration is committed to ensuring Massachusetts residents with disabilities have the services they need, whether that be day and residential programs or skill-building and professional tools,” Walsh said. “Today’s visit to Pathlight and ServiceNet provided a glimpse of the real-world impact of these critical services, which ensure that participants are not just supported, but uplifted. Our administration is proud to invest in these programs because we know the value of person-centered, coordinated care, and will continue to make it a priority.”

Pathlight and ServiceNet each provide an array of community-based day and employment-support activities. These activities focus on participants’ interests and goals through a variety of activities, vocational instruction, and skill building, all of which ensures each participant’s meaningful and engaged participation within their community.