The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has renewed its contract with the Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL), at the Institute on Community Integration, for continuation of training and technical assistance to build capacity for implementing positive support practices across the state. The $1.2 million contract extends the current work begun in 2012 by RTC-CL’s Minnesota DHS Systems Change and Capacity Building Through Research, Training, and Technical Assistance Projects, work that enhances Minnesota’s capacity to support community living for individuals with disabilities and/or mental illness. Minnesota DHS has made a new five-year commitment to working with RTC-CL, beginning with a two-year agreement for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019. The project directors at RTC-CL are Amy Hewitt and Rachel Freeman. “This DHS contract provides an important vehicle for building the capacity for person-centered practices and positive supports across the state of Minnesota and to improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities using large-scale systems change,” says Freeman.
The new contract’s primary areas of focus include expanding implementation of statewide person-centered practices and positive behavior support through regional training and technical assistance; building service professional capacity using DirectCourse, the online competency-based training system operated by a partnership of the RTC-CL and Elsevier; facilitation, coordination, and implementation support for Minnesota’s statewide plan for building effective systems for implementing positive practices and supports; technical assistance and training for organizational change to promote the use of person-centered practices within Minnesota DHS; building and sustaining in-state training capacity for person-centered thinking and person-centered planning; development of Web-based resources on best practices in implementing person-centered and positive behavior supports; and coordination of communities of practice for person centered practices and positive behavior supports.