The state Division of Adult Services and Aging (ASA) will be transitioning to the Department of Human Services (DHS), effective in April.

Lynne Valenti, secretary of the Department of Social Services (DSS), said the reorganization will result in the creation of a Division of Long Term Services and Supports. The new division will take over all areas of ASA except the Victims’ Services Program and the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program, which will remain in DSS.

Valenti said the move from DSS will create a more integrated approach to long-term services. Combining the services into one department will help ensure that people can best access long term services in their homes and communities, regardless of why they need the services or what type of disability they have, she said.

Long-term services and supports have been reorganized on the federal level, and a majority of states have restructured to keep consistent with federal changes.

Valenti told the House Health and Human Services Committee that the transition will expand home and community-based services (HCBS), improve case management by working to keep elderly residents at home and out of institutions, expand self-directed services and incorporate a small family-based model for community living.

DHS plans to create a steering committee to share information and collect feedback, and the group will meet quarterly for a year to help identify gaps in services and solutions and fill those gaps.