Liberty Center adult daycare closing within a month

Rule changes won’t allow Butler County DD to operate center and

The Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities has agreed to shutter the Liberty Center adult daycare within a month.

Superintendent Lisa Guliano said six of the seven clients left at the center that once served 125 people have found new services and will be transitioned within a month. The official closure will be Nov. 12.

On the employee side of things, Guliano said there are seven direct support staff, two managers and one nurse left who will be phased out gradually after they close out the building on Liberty Fairfield Road.

“All employees who are actively employed as of Nov. 30 will be placed on paid leave with their salary and benefits continuing through the month of December,” she said. “We project it will be less than 10 employees left due to some potential for employees to transfer to other openings within the board or resign before that date. Employees left will be laid off effective Jan. 1.”

Federal and state mandates handed down last year forced the closure because it was determined it was a conflict of interest for agencies who manage programs like the adult daycare to provide direct services to clients.

The deadline to phase out direct services was not until 2024 but the board announced a March 2017 closure date last year, prompting the mass exodus of employees and clients. As of last month the number of clients had dropped dramatically — from 125 to 10 - and staffing went from 40 to 10.

“It’s a little like we can pull this Band-Aid off really slowly and painfully with uncertainty, or we can just do it and say, ‘Now let’s move forward and let the healing, whatever needs to happen, begin,’ ” Developmental Disabilities Board President Kathy McMahon-Klosterman said about the early closure. “With a number of the families the parents and siblings are older, and wouldn’t it be in their best interest to know where their family is going to be, rather than wonder for five or six years where they might wind up.”