Throughout his career, Stan Butkus has improved employment and residence options for people with developmental disabilities. Stan Butkus holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and Master’s degrees from both Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and The University of New Hampshire in Durham. Early in Stan Butkus’ career he served as a house parent for people with cognitive impairments, a position which would inform his eventual rise to Regional Administrator for the State of Maine Bureau of Mental Retardation (now known as the Office of Adults with Cognitive and Physical Disabilities Services), where he directed the Kennebec and Somerset County offices.
In Maine, Stan Butkus managed services for 900 people with developmental disabilities. He developed new programs and managed contracts with private agencies. Butkus designed Maine’s Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waiver program, which provided support to children and adults with developmental disabilities who lived with their families or in group homes.
In 1986, Stan Butkus became the State Director of the Office of Mental Retardation Services in the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse (now known as the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services), located in Richmond. In his role there, Butkus expanded services for Virginia residents with developmental disabilities. He managed the directors of five institutions and created, authored, and oversaw Virginia’s home and community-based waiver program. Later, as Director of the Central Virginia Training Center in Madison Heights, Butkus implemented an innovative “money-follows-the-person” strategy to help residents leave institutions and re-enter the community. Over his five years as Director, Stan Butkus managed to place one-third of the Center’s residents into community-based settings.
Stan Butkus served as the Director of the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs in Columbia for nearly 13 years. His administration focused on increasing self-determination and opportunities for choice for people with developmental disabilities. He shifted the Department’s focus to person-centered planning and began an Employment First policy to help adults with developmental disabilities find meaningful work in a local setting. In addition, Butkus initiated behavioral interventions for South Carolina children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.