After an Intake process deems an individual eligible for IDD Services, they have the right to choose their Supports Coordination Organization and Supports Coordinator (SC).
CMU is a qualified Supports Coordination Organization for the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs/Bureau of Services to Individuals with Intellectual Disability and the Dauphin County Mental Health / Autism / Developmental Program. CMU is a non-profit, conflict-free Agency. We are a willing and qualified provider of Supports Coordination services for individuals who are residents of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania and who are determined eligible for Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services.
The Next Step…Developing Your Plan
It’s all about you!
Now that you have a Supports Coordinator, it’s time to gather your Circle of Support and begin the planning process.
Your Supports Coordinator will assist you with this process. They can facilitate your planning meetings, help you to do that yourself or team up with you to facilitate your meetings together! The Supports Coordinator will use a planning document called the Individual Support Plan (ISP). The ISP is designed to incorporate person centered planning into a statewide, standardized planning format.
You can use your Individual Support Plan (ISP) to let everyone supporting you understand what is important to you and what supports and services you need. The plan documents the services that you are receiving and the services that you need but not receiving yet because funding may not be available.
Priority of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS)
When funding isn’t available
The Individual Support Plan (ISP) process helps to identify your needs. Your Supports Coordinator will discuss the types of supports and services that may be available to help with those needs.
Supports and services can come from many sources, including:
- Family, friends, neighbors and other informal supports.
- Faith communities, community resources, non-profit organizations and other generic supports.
- Formal supports/services provided with funding through the Office of Developmental Programs.
Your Supports Coordinator will help to locate, coordinate and monitor the supports and services that you need.
There are times when your Supports Coordinator cannot arrange formal supports and services immediately due to the lack of available funding through the Office of Developmental Programs. When this happens, your Supports Coordinator will assist you to complete the PUNS (Priority of Urgency of Need for Services). This document records your unmet service need. It will help your Supports Coordinator and County MH/ID Program understand and plan for your needs. The county and the state use the information to create their upcoming annual budgets and service plans. It also tells the Office of Developmental Programs the types of supports people are waiting for in each county and identifies gaps in services and supports in specific areas. The PUNS can also be used to report needs that are not immediate, but will be needed within five (5) years and will become important to you within that period.
What is meant by services to address my needs?
The Supports Intensity Scale©, an instrument developed and copyrighted by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability (AAIDD), is used to assess your needs. The SIS© was developed to:
- Assess support needs of individuals aged sixteen (16) and older
- Determine the intensity of the need
- Over time to monitor individual progress and evaluate outcomes
The intent of the SIS© is to focus on the level of support needed by a person instead of evaluating deficits in skills. Some areas measured are: home living, community living, lifelong learning, employment, health and safety, social activities, and protection and advocacy. Activities are ranked according to frequency, amount, and type of support within the SIS© Scale. Ultimately, a Supports Intensity Level is established based on the Total Support Needs Index. The Total Support Needs Index is defined as the standard score generated from scores on all the items tested by the Scale. However, the score does not drive the development of the Individual Support Plan (ISP). The ISP is developed by the team. The team uses all available information, including the SIS© and the PA Plus to plan for your needs. The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has contracted with an independent organization to complete the SIS© and PA Plus Assessments. That organization is Ascend Management Innovations LLC of Nashville, Tennessee. Your Supports Coordinator will attend your SIS© Assessment meeting if at all possible, but the assessment meeting will be facilitated by a trained SIS© & PA Plus interviewer from Ascend. The SIS© meeting should include the individual, if at all possible, and anyone who knows them well and can help talk about their capabilities as well as areas where they need support. People who attend the SIS© & PA Plus meeting to help provide information are referred to as Respondents. Your Supports Coordinator shares the finalized SIS© report with you, and together, you will use the information from the SIS© and any other assessments to complete your Individual Support Plan (ISP). Your ISP documents a plan to meet all of your assessed needs:
- Many times, these needs may be met by the help you receive through the informal support provided by your family, friends and community.
- Sometimes, assessed needs are met through the use of generic resources in the community. Generic resources are the types of services and supports that may be available to anyone in the community. (An example of a generic resource may be a food bank).
- You may also need formal services and supports through the public Intellectual Disability System (Office of Developmental Programs), and those are the services and supports that your Supports Coordinator will help arrange, pending the availability of funding.
What is funding? How does it work?
Funding is the money provided through the Federal, State and/or County government that is needed to pay for the formal supports and services that you need. Funding is required in order for your Supports Coordinator to arrange Formal Supports And Services for you. Your Supports Coordinator can help arrange Informal Supports and Generic Community Resources for you without waiting for the type of funding described below. When formal services are funded through the Office of Developmental Programs, one of the following types of funding will be needed: Base, Person/Family Directed Supports (PFDS) Waiver, or Consolidated Waiver.
Base funding is State & County money. It is used for services such as Family Driven Support Services & services that support employment outcomes. It is a relatively limited source of funding, so most people who receive base funded services have needs that don’t require a significant amount of funding.
Waiver funding is Federal & State Medicaid money. In Dauphin County, it is used for many individuals who currently use formal supports and services. There are also Level of Care and financial eligibility requirements that must be met by individuals who receive waiver funding.
Many people who have a Supports Coordinator and who need services do not have funding available to them for some time. The Supports Coordinator will help you to identify your needs through your Individual Support Plan (ISP). Your needs will then be documented in the Priority of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS). This allows CMU, Dauphin County MH/MR Program, and the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) to know that you are waiting and can plan for you when funding becomes available. Your Supports Coordinator will try to help as much as possible, but cannot arrange formal supports and services until funding becomes available.
To learn more about waivers and waiver funding, please Click Here.
Supports and Services…
Formal Supports and Services that can address you identified needs
Formal supports and services are those that are provided with funding through the Office of Developmental Programs (Base or Waiver funding). These services are planned to meet your needs as identified through your Individual Supports Plan (ISP) and Priority of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS).
The Office of Developmental Programs issues Approved Service Definitions that are used by our Supports Coordinators for planning purposes. The Approved Service Definitions are also used by the County/Administrative Entity when reviewing plans to approve and authorize the services proposed by the Supports Coordinator and ISP team in the Individual Support Plan.
The Approved Service Definitions are usually issued each fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP). They define the types of services that can be funded as well as the rules, conditions and sometimes, the limitations of those services. For some services, there may be different rules depending on factors such as the type of funding used, who is providing the service or where the service is provided. Your Supports Coordinator will help you to understand the types of services available to meet your needs as well as all the things you need to know when planning for those services.
Many types of services are available. They include:
- Home and Community Services
- Respite Services
- Employment Services
- Transportation Services
- Residential Services
- …and many more!
For more details, please check out the following resources:
ISP Manual 00-15-01: Service Definitions for the Pennsylvania Intellectual Disability Program. Service Definitions are updated periodically. The current bulletin will always be available at www.dhs.pa.gov.
You may also use the Services and Supports Directory provided by the Office of Developmental Programs to locate information about services and service providers available in Dauphin County and across the state. (You may search for information in several ways at this website: by county, by service or by service provider name).
You have choices…
When funding is available for formal supports and services, your Supports Coordinator will provide information to help you make a choice of willing and qualified providers when referring you for services.
You have choices about how you arrange your services:
- Traditional Providers (These include direct service providers who have staff that provide the service you need).
- Participant Directed Services (These are options for you to self-direct your services by using a state approved Financial Management Service to pay Support Service Workers (SSW’s).
- There are two types of Financial Management Services)
- Agency With Choice (UCP Central PA for Dauphin County)
- Vendor Fiscal/Employer (Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL – statewide)
Your Supports Coordinator will help you to understand your choices. You may also learn more about your choices by clicking on the links below.
To learn more about the different options available to you, please Click Here. The PA Guide to Participant Directed Services will help you learn more about self-directing your services through either Agency with Choice Financial Management Services or Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent Financial Management Services.
- To visit the website for Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL), Click Here.
- To visit the website for UCP Central PA, Click Here.
You’re steering now!
CMU’s Mission Statement expresses our belief in the right of all individuals to make decisions about their own life or self-determination.
We support your right to self-determination and encourage self-advocacy in your relationship with your Supports Coordinator and with CMU as your Supports Coordination Organization (SCO).
There are opportunities available for you to express yourself and participate in self-advocacy groups locally. A couple that are available to you right here in Dauphin County are:
Speaking for Ourselves (SFO) – Central Pennsylvania Chapter.
SFO is an independent, grassroots advocacy organization run by and for people with a developmental disability.
SFO’s Mission is to be an independent community organization controlled by people with a developmental disability who help us:
- Find a voice for ourselves.
- Teach the public about the needs, wishes, and potential of people with a developmental disability.
- Speak out on important issues.
- Support each other through sharing, leadership development, and helping and encouraging each other.
- The Central PA Chapter of SFO meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 1100 South Cameron Street; Harrisburg, PA 17104. For more information, please call (717) 441-7036.
The Aktion Club
Aktion Club is the newest member of the Sponsored Organizations and Programs at Kiwanis International. Aktion Club is a community-service group for adult citizens who live with a disability. The mission of Aktion Club is:
- To provide adults living with a developmental disability an opportunity to develop initiative and leadership skills.
- To serve their community.
- To be integrated into society.
- To demonstrate the dignity and value of citizens living with a developmental disability.
Aktion Club members strive to return to their communities the benefits, help, and caring they have received, as well as develop important skills in the process.
A local chapter of the Aktion Club is available through the ARC of Dauphin & Lebanon Counties. For more information, visit www.arcofdc.org or call The Arc at (717) 920-2727.
Check out www.selfadvocacyonline.org for information and resources about Self-Advocacy. You can also find Self-Advocacy groups through this website from the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota.
…to help in your search for more information!
- Office of Developmental Programs (ODP)
- Dauphin County Office of Mental Health/Autism/Developmental Programs
- The ARC of Dauphin County
- Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Autism
- Pennsylvania Health Law Project
- PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)
- PA Secondary Transition Guide
- Education Law Center
- College Options for Individuals with intellectual Disabilities