From all of us at Applied Self-Direction, we wish you and your families a joyful holiday season. While this year presented one challenge after another, it has been an honor for us to support stakeholders in self-direction as you rose to the occasion again and again.
The events of 2020 underscored the critical importance of Home and Community-Based Services and have boosted the work you do supporting participants, families, and workers to new national prominence. There is abundant evidence that the self-directed model has greater national interest and momentum than ever before. From states’ broad expansions of self-direction and paid family caregiving in 2020 to President-elect Joe Biden’s resolute commitment to expanding the self-directed model nationwide, it is clear that self-direction will continue to flourish as Americans seek a better way forward for long-term care. All of this is a testament to your commitment to staying the course, fighting for authentic participant choice and control amid constant budgetary and policy challenges.
We are grateful for the opportunity to support your work through our membership offerings and key projects. In 2020, we released our latest Inventory of Self-Direction Programs in support of the AARP Long-Term Services and Supports State Scorecard, and our data showed strong year-over-year growth in self-direction enrollment. We also partnered with Burness, a top Washington, D.C. communications and public relations firm, to offer a self-direction advocacy training course to further deepen advocacy for our movement nationwide. Meanwhile, our technical assistance activities are ongoing, with Applied Self-Direction staff currently at work on over a dozen federal and state projects across the country.
As 2020 draws to a close, we remain deeply appreciative for the opportunity to work with participants, states, federal agencies, managed care organizations, Financial Management Services providers, Information and Assistance entities, and national organizations that together make self-direction successful. Thank you for all you do, and we hope the holiday season provides a much-needed time to rest and recharge before we continue scaling new heights together in 2021!