Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Disability and Aging

Use of the 1915 (c) Federal Waiver Application: The Experience of Eight States


Research staff at the Muskie School of Public Service, USM were requested to evaluate the effectiveness of the revised HCBS waiver application process from the perspective of states. This report summarizes the purpose, scope, approach and findings of the evaluation. The evaluation was designed to provide qualitative information on states' experience using the new HCBS waiver application for initial and renewal waiver applications. The evaluation examined four major issues: <i>Clarity/Consistency</i>: Are the waiver application components (Application, Technical Guide, Review Criteria) clearly understood and do they promote consistent interpretation? <i>Relevancy/Adequacy</i>: Do the application components address the range of waivers and options available to states and are they useful in clarifying the design of the state's waiver program? <i>Burden</i>: Do the application components and processes promote efficiency of state effort? <i>Impact</i>: Do the waiver application components strengthen the waiver program? States identified four primary areas of benefit from the new waiver application process.<p></p><i>Overall Benefits</i><br></br>States identified four primary areas of benefit from the new waiver application process. They found that the waiver application:<li>Facilitated communication and coordination within the State and with CMS;<li>Clarified the expectations of CMS regarding roles and responsibilities; <li>Improved the overall consistency and accuracy of the waiver application;<li>
Improved and strengthened the organization and design of the waiver programs</li>

Publication Type: 
Publish Date: 
October 1, 2007

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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