A state senator with a special needs child wants the mental health department to start working on contingency plans for all of its habilitation centers. Senator Scott Rupp of Wentzville wants each center to know what it is going to do with its residents if the center has to close. And he wants the center to work out its plans for each client with the parents or guardians of those clients.
His bill does not order the department to close any centers. But he knows the population in them is shrinking. He says the center serve 637 developmentally-disabled people now. But he says natural mortality rates will drop that number to 21 by 2018.
He says it’s better for the department to be discussing arrangements with parents and guardians now instead of waiting for the day the center announces its closing in a few weeks.