Hawthorne Executive Director Tina Covington in their new Financial Intermediary space. 

Hawthorne Executive Director Tina Covington in their new Financial Intermediary space. 

Last week, The Hawthorne Foundation hosted a meeting for roughly 25 families that are looking for long-term housing and community options for their Developmentally Disabled adult children. Dustin Sweeney, my 19 year old Autistic son, has been at Hawthorne Country Day School for years. However, many parents at the meeting were Westchester families new to Hawthorne. 

The goals were:

  • Explore Self-Direction Housing, Community, and Adult options with guest speaker Baturu Mboge of the Westchester Institute for Human Development
  • Introduce Hawthorne's New Financial Intermediary (FI) and training center; and
  • Introduce Hawthorne's staff which included:
    • Tina Covington - Executive Director
    • Eileen Bisordi - Hawthorne Founder
    • Fay Dohman - Coordinator of Self Direction and Community Services

Baturu Mboge was very knowledgeable about the all the changes in the market, and this diagram below shows the high level view of the shifting sands of programming from Agency Based to Self-Directed models. The good news is: decisions are being made by parents, and this creates a more responsive market for adult services. The bad news is: questions of "what happens when the parents die?" remain. 

 The shift from "Agency Based" to "Self-Directed" models. 

The shift from "Agency Based" to "Self-Directed" models. 

Hawthorne has made a bold move in creating and funding this new Financial Intermediary (FI) space for families. It is always hard to predict where we are going in the New York State OPWDD market, but administrative services could easily be streamlined into one agency. The FI can work as a watchdog over money and budgets away from programming, jobs, and housing decisions. In this new era of Self-Direction, we must think differently and I really credit the Hawthorne staff and Board Director Jackie Ceonzo for starting this initiative. They are embracing the new Self-Direction models in the OPWDD world. For more information, contact:


Fay Dohman - Hawthorne Coordinator of Self Direction and Community Services

200 Clearbrook Road, Suite 114, 

Elmsford, NY 10523
Office - (914) 592-8526 ext. 3046