In a major advocacy effort, the Autism Society of Northern Virginia and our coalition partners advocated for the closure of the Northern Virginia Training Center (NVTC), a group residence for disabled individuals. We believe that the best solution for most individuals is full integration into their communities and sufficient services and supports to help them life as independently as possible. The Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services has announced that the closure has been moved from March 2015 to March 2016, to allow for more time to plan for adequate transition support for the former residents. In addition, the land and property formerly used by the NVTC will be sold to help fund community services for former residents. See the full press release below.
From the Commissioner’s Desk
July 1, 2014
As you may know, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) has been implementing a plan developed pursuant to Virginia Code § 37.2-319 to move the Commonwealth toward its long-standing goal of a more fully-integrated community-based system of services and supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This plan currently requires transitioning residents of the Northern Virginia Training Center (NVTC) to the community and closing the training center in March of 2015. After recent discussions with DBHDS staff, NVTC parents, area community services boards (CSBs) and providers, and using the experience we have gained with the closure of Southside Virginia Training Center, we have determined that additional time is necessary to develop a more comprehensive array of community options and to strengthen the Developmental Disability Health Support Network in the northern Virginia region in order to ensure successful transitions for NVTC's residents. Therefore, the DBHDS has revised the closure date to March of 2016.
During this expanded period of time prior to the closure of NVTC, DBHDS hopes to continue to work closely with NVTC parents (and authorized representatives), CSBs, and providers to identify and develop community service options to which residents will choose to transition. In order to fund the development of additional community resources and infrastructure, I have signed the Declaration of Surplus Property for the NVTC property. The Department of General Services/Division of Real Estate Services may now offer it for sale. The proceeds from this sale will aid in the further development of housing and support options in the northern Virginia area.
DBHDS remains committed to developing a rich array of integrated, community-based housing and service options for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our aim is to have a collaborative, inclusive process that addresses existing concerns and results in the development of community options that meet individualized needs. We look forward to working with parents, members of the General Assembly, CSBs, community providers and other stakeholders to maximize opportunities for individualized, integrated plans for community living.
Debra Ferguson, Ph.D.
Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services