Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Disability and Aging

Satisfaction Survey Results and Lessons Learned: Maine's Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Project


The primary goal of Maine’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Project was to empower consumers to make informed decisions about long-term services and supports and to streamline access to existing services and supports through an integrated system. With funding from the Administration on Aging to strengthen and expand the number of Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) in the state, all five of the Area Agencies on Aging were committed to becoming and/or strengthening their capacity to be fully functioning ADRCs.

This report provides a summary of the results of consumer satisfaction surveys that were conducted for three years at all five ADRCs. The survey was designed to capture the consumer view of the ADRC services in key domain areas including: visibility/trust; efficiency; responsiveness and effectiveness. Also included is a summary of consumer comments that were shared by those responding to the survey and a summary of lessons learned from the administrators at the ADRCs. Significant accomplishments of the ADRCs were reported as training; providing information, resources, navigation assistance and options counseling to a broad spectrum of aging and disabled adults, along with their caregivers; the ability to expand the ARDC's role into the disability community; and the connection with community providers. Challenges reported included the lack of resources and inability of the State Unit on Aging to be approved to apply for future funding; ongoing operations and expansion as a a fully functioning ADRC without the funding to support the additional work, and the need for updated on-line referral database and the staffing to maintain it.

Suggested citation:

Fralich J, Olsen L, Richards M, Bowe, T.  Satisfaction Survey Results and Lessons Learned: Maine's Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Project. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service; December 2012.

Publication Type: 
Publish Date: 
December 1, 2012

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

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