10 Things you may not know about JCDS
1. Originally called the JCMRC, JCDS was created after an amended 1970 state statute allowed counties to levy a tax to provide services to residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The county commission appointed a board of qualified residents to operate as a governing board who developed the organization and hired the first executive director in September 1972. A seven-member governing board guides the agency to this day.
2. In 1995, the Kansas legislature passed the Developmental Disabilities Reform Act that designated 27 “single point of entry” agencies called Community Developmental Disabilities Organizations. JCDS was selected as the CDDO for Johnson County.
3. The CDDO oversees more than 70 agencies in Johnson County, which serve more than 1,800 people. They also guide families on the statewide waitlist to get into local services, which currently holds almost 900 people in the county who are waiting for IDD services. The waiting list is managed by the State of Kansas with services becoming available upon funding by the Kansas legislature.
4. JCDS is the largest service provider in Johnson County, serving almost 600 people each year. Additionally, it is one of the largest providers of case management services in the state, with 440 people receiving case management services from the agency.
5. The agency is nationally accredited by the Council on Quality and Leadership, which provides accreditation to human service organizations. CQL also provides training, certification, research, and consultation and has been in operation since 1969.
6. JCDS provides residential services in 49 locations across Johnson County, but it does not own any individual homes. Friends of JCDS is a nonprofit that works alongside the agency to provide housing and other basic needs for people who receive services from JCDS. They currently own 22 properties. Learn more at friendsofjcds.org.
7. JCDS offers more than ten options for day and employment services, so people in service can engage in a wide variety of activities that meet their interests and skills. This includes educational, employment, volunteer, health and recreational activities.
8. The agency operates multiple enterprise businesses that employ people with IDD. This includes secure document destruction, Emerging Artists and Papercrete Works. Learn more at jocogov.org/jcds.
9. The employment program contributes to the broader Johnson County economy by supporting those interested in working in the community. Employment specialists help with job applications, job readiness skills, and interviews in addition to educating employers on hiring people with disabilities.
10. JCDS is currently hiring people who are looking to make a difference in the community. Starting pay for a direct support professional is $15.71/hour, with a $2 weekend differential and a $1,000 signon bonus. Experience is preferred but not required. Employees receive on-the-job training in addition to ongoing training and continuing education. Learn more at jobs.jcds.org.