TABLE OF CONTENTS
RG 170, Department of Developmental Services
Inventory of Records
Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.
Copyright © 2008 by the Connecticut State Library
The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has a long history in the State of Connecticut. As early as 1917, services for individuals with mental retardation were largely provided at the Mansfield Training School until 1940 when the Southbury Training School was opened. Eventually these facilities, along with “Regional Centers” established in the 1960’s, were overseen by the Office of Mental Retardation, a division of the State Department of Health.
In 1975 the Connecticut General Assembly established an independent Department of Mental Retardation (P.A. No. 75-638). The department has been a department in the executive branch, headed by a Commissioner appointed by the Governor, since that time. Although DDS continues to directly operate both congregate and community-based services and supports, the department's focus has largely become community-based relying upon a public/private partnership.
The result is a statewide system which provides support and services to persons with mental retardation who reside in family homes, independently, in state-operated facilities, in licensed "community training homes" and in over 830 licensed/certified "community living arrangements." Since 1987, most services and supports provided by DDS have been subject to federal reimbursement under Home and Community Based Waivers (Medicaid) which are approved by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).
In 2007, the department changed its name from the Department of Mental Retardation to the Department of Developmental Services. This change reflects the mission and commitment of the department to serve individuals eligible for services with the utmost respect and dignity.
Source: State of Connecticut, Department of Developmental Services, History, http://www.ct.gov/dds/cwp/view.asp?a=3&q=384186 (accessed on December 5, 2008).
See also the Department of Developmental Services Description.
These records include those from the same body under the previous name Department of Mental Retardation.
Subgroup 1, Mansfield Training School, 1863-1992, while part of this record group is described separately.
Series 2. Commissioner, 1978-1994, consists of legal files from the lawsuit CARV v. Thorne. The suit was filed in 1978 by the Connecticut Association of Retarded Citizens (CARC) against the Department and its Commissioner, Gareth D. Thorne. It was in the 1970s that community-based programs for the developmentally disabled began. In light of that change, CARC claimed that the administration and staff at Mansfield Training School violated their clients' 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 11th amendment rights and sections of the federal Social Security, Developmental Disabilities and Rehabilitation Acts. After five years of litigation, the Department, the State, and the members of CARC negotiated an agreement codified in a Consent Decree. This Consent Decree contributed to the closing of Mansfield Training School. Included is client data, plaintiff files, depositions, studies, confidential correspondence and interactions with the Court Monitor's office.
Series 3. Community Services Division, 1973-1985, contains meeting material, block grant hearings, statistical summaries and listings of various grants and services, and policy mission statement and priorities.
Series 4. Mystic Oral School Task Force, 1983-1986, contains meeting material and correspondence related to the Task Force's activities for finding new uses for the Mystic Oral School property.
Arranged into Subgroup 1, Mansfield Training School; and three series: Series 2, Commissioner and Series 3, Community Services Division, Series 4. Mystic Oral School Task Force.
Restrictions on Access
Series 2 is RESTRICTED. Please contact State Archives staff for assistance.
These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.
Restrictions on Use
See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.
RG 170:001, Mansfield Training School, 1863-1992.
Connecticut. Dept. of Developmental Services
Connecticut. Dept. of Mental Retardation
Connecticut. Dept. of Developmental Services -- Records and correspondence
Connecticut. Dept. of Mental Retardation -- Records and correspondence
Developmentally disabled -- Institutional care -- Connecticut
Developmentally disabled -- Services for -- Connecticut
Mental retardation patient facilities -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Connecticut
Mental retardation patient facilities -- Services for -- Connecticut
People with mental disabilities -- Care -- Connecticut
People with mental disabilities -- Institutional care -- Connecticut
People with mental disabilities -- Services for -- Connecticut