Pauls Valley Democrat
While many of those with loved ones at the Southern Oklahoma Resource Center or its sister site in Enid are still coping with a recent decision to close both facilities, there are still many willing to fight for what they feel is a better future.
Among that core group not satisfied with how the now defunct Commission for Human Services handled the vote is SORC Parent Guardian Association President Ken Talley. Despite the matter remaining official even after State Question 765 dissolved the commission, he is not alone in the feeling that the discussion is not over and there is still a need for said resource centers.
“We still think those centers provide the best type of care and we have been pleased with the care of the centers, the caregivers,” said Talley. “There’s still information we’d like to see... how the clients are doing who have transferred into the community.”
Talley noted how the reason they feel they can still keep moving forward was how little was prepared by the commission before the vote, who by their own admission still had not fully developed a plan for transition into community care. The plan calls for the Department of Human Services to work with communities in each area to establish home base care, something he said has not included enough feedback to guarantee it will be able to be done by the proposed SORC closure date of April 30, 2014.
“It was still to us a resolution that was passed without any plan developed,” said Talley, noting how he feels the fragile state of many residents being moved was not fully understood. “We know that a lot of change is not good for clients.”
However, Talley like others supporting the former state schools are unsure of how to proceed, other than to get in contact with legislators and work out the next move. Even though the new advisory panels which they hope to be a part of cannot overturn the decision itself, he believes simply the restructuring of DHS allows at least some hope they still have an argument to make.
“I guess the legislature will be able to help us at this point,” said Talley, adding how the plan they submitted earlier this summer is still something they’d like to be considered. “That’s my understanding, if they’re no longer there you have to meet with other sources... We think that would call for a different action now.”