The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) was created to administer long-term services and supports for people who are aging as well as for people with intellectual and physical disabilities. DADS also licenses and regulates providers of these services, and administers the state's Guardianship program. DADS began formal operations on Sept. 1, 2004.
DADS is under the leadership of a commissioner who is appointed by the executive commissioner for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) with the approval of the governor.
The agency is divided into the following programmatic and support divisions that report to the commissioner.
Office of the Associate Commissioner
The associate commissioner provides direction and guidance in strategic operations, planning and executive support to the DADS commissioner, while overseeing the Center for Consumer and External Affairs (CCEA) and the Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman. CCEA is responsible for ensuring accurate and timely internal and external communications, outreach to agency stakeholders, acting as the agency liaison to the Texas Legislature, and coordinating volunteer activities and community partnerships. The State Long-term Care Ombudsman advocates for quality of life and care for residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Office of the Deputy Commissioner
The deputy commissioner oversees the Center for Policy and Innovation (CPI), the Special Advisor for Policy and Promoting Independence, and the Senior Policy Advisor. CPI is responsible for conducting research, developing grants, establishing non-regulatory policy and identifying innovations and best practices. Through the Promoting Independence initiative, the Special Advisor helps people with disabilities live in the most appropriate care setting possible.
Internal Audit is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve DADS operations. It helps DADS accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes. This provides assurance that DADS is operating in the most effective and efficient manner possible; is complying with written policies, procedures, laws and regulations; is properly safeguarding assets; and is complying with contracts and achieving fiscal integrity. Internal Audit reports directly to the commissioner to ensure independence.
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
The chief operating officer oversees Legal Services, Consumer Rights and Services, Information Technology, Contract Oversight and Support, and Executive and Staff Operations. The COO is also responsible for some program and service-related administrative support activities and for coordination with HHSC to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of administrative support services to other health and human service departments.
Chief Financial Officer
The chief financial officer is responsible for Budget and Data Management, Accounting and Claims Management.
Access and Intake (A&I)
The assistant commissioner for Access and Intake (A&I) is responsible for contracting and oversight for community services, and initiatives carried out within the A&I division. The division includes Strategic Operations and Grants, Area Agencies on Aging, Local Authorities, Community Services and Program Operations, Guardianship Services, Community Services Contracts, and Utilization and Management Review.
The assistant commissioner for Regulatory Services is responsible for Survey Operations, Enforcement, Licensing and Credentialing, and Policy, Rules and Curriculum.
State Supported Living Centers
The assistant commissioner for state supported living centers is responsible for the operation of Texas' state-run residential facilities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This division provides campus-based direct services and supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at 12 locations — Abilene, Austin, Brenham, Corpus Christi, Denton, El Paso, Lubbock, Lufkin, Mexia, Richmond, San Angelo and San Antonio.