Last week, we received a letter inviting us to apply for Service Coordination's ASD Respite Funding. I have applied for this funding for five years and never once been approved. The funding is granted on a bell curve with families who need the most assistance being given the money. Apparently I've fallen below the threshold every single time, even the the year when Dave was in treatment for cancer.
The last few years, I haven't bothered to apply. (If two kids with autism and a husband taking unpaid leave and dealing with cancer aren't going to tip me over the "greatest need" point, then my regular life isn't going to do it.) Every year, I still get the invitation to apply.
I have to wonder, why are they bothering? It's an increase in paperwork for them to deal with and clearly I don't meet whatever criteria they're looking at, so why bother pushing people to apply when you know they won't qualify?
Then it hit me, the more people they have to turn down, the more pressure they can put on the government to increase funding. The goal of this is to inflate the statistics.
Now, I believe there is a real need for an increase in funding across the board: for treatment, for respite and for support for individuals and families. But I don't like being manipulated. If they were honest and told us they wanted to increase the number of applications to show the true need in the community, I would be more willing to participate. (It's still a long application, especially when I need to complete it twice.)
Of course, I'm also guessing at the purpose. Maybe they have another reason why they're soliciting applications to turn down. But either way, receiving that invitation feels like a tease.