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Mother scrambles to find son new home, after DHHS split from RCSS

Roxanne Dion has to find a new home for her son, who has autism, after receiving a letter from DHHS.

SACO, Maine — Roxanne Dion said she panicked, when she received a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services, saying her son, who has autism, has to find a new home.

"I didn't know why," said Dion.

Her son Landon, is nonverbal, and is being cared for at a Residential and Community Support Services Facility in Portland. DHHS terminated its contract with RCSS following the death of a client. The state said it will continue to pay for services provided by the agency, while residents are moved to new homes. They said the transition is expected to last no more than 30 days.

"I was nervous because it was a time crunch," said Dion.

Transitions and change are hard for Landon. He has been with the agency for four years, and has formed close relationships with the staff who take care of him.

"He needs a lot of time to prep. It's hard enough trusting your child with strangers, when your child doesn't have language, has limited language, I think that's my greatest fear," said Dion.

Through a caseworker, Dion has been looking at other homes she thinks would be a good fit for Landon. She is hopeful she found one in Saco, where she lives.

"I'd be able to pop over at a lunch break, take a walk up there and vice versa, he could come here," said Dion.

Dion said she has always been a strong advocate for her son, and will do anything to make sure he is in the right place. She wonders about others.

"I hope others have someone who is advocating for them strongly, whether it's someone who's a relative or has been appointed to them," said Dion.  

Dion also said she was surprised to find out someone died at a facility, because she said she has had a great experience with RCSS. As of October 18th, the agency has 65 remaining adults. It operated 38 homes throughout Southern Maine.

RELATED: RCSS says DHHS is using it as a 'scapegoat'

RELATED: RCSS director blames death of resident on DHHS

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