New Time Bank Initiative Helps People with Developmental Disabilities
July 24, 2008
Office of the County Executive
(608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today the development of a first of its kind “Time Bank” initiative means better services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Under Time Bank, people get help with things like yard and house work in exchange for help they provide to other individuals involved with the Time Bank.
A new initiative in the 2008 Dane County budget expands the program so developmentally disabled citizens can earn credits for “time bank” services through work they either do themselves or is done on their behalf by friends, family members and community organizations.
“Expansion of this program gives citizens with developmental disabilities the opportunity to benefit from better services while helping their friends and neighbors,” Falk said. “Individuals with developmental disabilities can earn time credits themselves or with the assistance of others by helping out in the community where they can. In exchange they can get help with trips to the grocery store, some work around the yard, or even feeding pets.”
Falk put $55,000 in the 2008 Dane County Budget to fund the first full-time coordinator at the Dane County Time Bank, Inc. to help increase the quantity and quality of participation by individuals with developmental disabilities. The Time Bank will recruit community organizations and the families and friends of people with developmental disabilities to join the Time Bank and perform community services to earn credits to be used by those consumers. Individuals with disabilities will also perform community services to earn credits for their personal use or for use by other consumers.
“If these services were purchased from a community agency, the cost would be more than twice that of the Time Bank contract,” Falk said. “By performing community services, consumers with developmental disabilities will also build valuable work skills and references and develop relationships that could help connect them to jobs and community organizations.”
It’s estimated that in the first year, 30 people with developmental disabilities will each receive approximately four hours per week of recreational and support services through the Time Bank. This is approximately 6,200 hours of assistance per year.
Dane County Time Bank, Inc. was launched in 2005 as a “pilot program” in one north side Madison neighborhood and has grown to a true county-wide reach with more than 548 present members and over 13,000 hours of service exchanged.