Center for children to close, costing 134 local jobs

March 26, 2012

A major provider of services to children with developmental disabilities and emotional challenges plans to cease operations in late May, resulting in the loss of 134 jobs.

But executives of Indiana Developmental Training Center in Indianapolis hope to reconstitute the business and reopen this summer, focusing on care for adults with mental challenges. 

IDTC, 11075 N. Pennsylvania St., filed notice about the job losses March 22 with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

IDTC is affiliated with Wisconsin-based Oconomowoc Residential Programs. It’s been offering residential treatment and day school facilities in the Indianapolis area for about 15 years. Children are typically referred to IDTC from county offices of child and family services, the Department of Education, local school districts or the juvenile probation system.

Officials said they made the decision to close after the state reduced reimbursement rates 15 percent and the Indiana Department of Child Services started referring fewer children to the center. The closure will coincide with the end of the school year.

More than 80 of those losing their jobs are youth counselors. Most of the other positions are support roles.

DCS has increasingly sought to have children placed with family or extended family rather than refer them to outside facilities for treatment, according to IDTC. 

“We just cannot sustain [services], not only with the cutbacks in the new rate structure but the fewer number of children that are going to be referred,” said Michael Flores, executive director of IDTC. “It’s sad, the closure, on the kids. ... All of the residential treatment providers are looking at whether they can stay afloat.”

Flores said IDTC has been working on a plan to serve the adult population, for which there are federal funds available under a Medicaid program.

There is significant demand for care facilities for adults with mental retardation or with serious emotional problems, he said.

IDTC envisions a 20-bed crisis unit among offerings planned for its Pennsylvania Street facility. “We’re looking at starting the first week of July.”

Flores hopes the reconstituted facility could eventually employ upwards of 200 people.

Meanwhile, IDTC plans to keep open its smaller facility for children in Lafayette.




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