More adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities are thriving in their communities, living in foster homes rather than institutions. Jackson County’s need for homes where the developmentally disabled can live as independently as possible is growing.
Foster homes for the developmentally disabled offer various levels of support from skilled nursing care to transportation or meal preparation.
Brenton Gauthier is with Jackson County’s Developmental Disability Services. He says it’s important for those with developmental disabilities to connect with other people.
"If you don’t ever see or hear from somebody, from then you lose that ability to relate, and so having folks live in the community with disabilities, it’s just good for everybody," he says.
Gauthier encourages qualified community members to consider becoming foster-home providers. He says prospective providers should have some experience with the developmentally disabled.
A recent report by a non-profit advocacy group ranks Oregon second in the nation for promoting inclusion and independence for people with developmental disabilities.