Beginning in 2005, Southern Wisconsin Center recognized the need to assist counties with a strategy to maintain challenging community placements, and to promote enduring relationships between individuals and their home communities. The goal was to partner with counties, guardians and providers to build a crisis plan that really worked for individuals diagnosed with a developmental disability in the absence of coping skills. Knowing that an occasional crisis could be expected, it was critical that contingencies be developed to handle difficult times. Particularly to avoid incarceration, emergency admission to a local mental health unit or admission to a state mental health institute during a crisis. Together, Southern Wisconsin Center and progressive counties sought to build a crisis plan for the individual and the person's service provider. The "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) was developed and serves as a tool to communicate the standard guidelines and individualized procedures for each emergency re-admission.
During the individual's initial admission to Southern Wisconsin Center, the option of an MOU is discussed by the Interdisciplinary Team as discharge approaches. If Southern Wisconsin Center, the county, guardian and provider agree to emergency re-admission in the event of a crisis, the MOU is developed to outline the agreed upon course of action. The standard guidelines require that significant behavioral, medication, and program changes be reported to the SWC Community Relations Team for consultation and documentation. The individualized procedures identify contact people and transport information.
If the need arises for an emergency re-admission, the SWC Interdisciplinary Team immediately implements the person's Individualized Treatment Plan and the Integrated Behavior Intervention Plan. During the next 48 hours, the opportunity exists to address the individual's unmet needs and to develop community treatment plan "add-ons". The focus is on rapid return to the home community, usually within 48 to 72 hours,. Once caregivers are assured that there is a plan in place for the "worst case scenario" they are more able to focus on the work ahead.