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The Self-Determination pilot program began in New Jersey in Fiscal Year 1997 as an adjunct to the Community Services Waiting List and was formerly known as the Governor’s Inclusion Initiative. Self-Determination was offered to individuals with urgent status on the Community Services Waiting List from July 1997 until February 2003.

Self-Determination is now limited to the participants who had approved plans prior to February 20, 2003 and those individuals who had completed a written application for participation in the Self-determination prior to February 20, 2003.


Self-determination was recommended for individuals who had some resources, but who needed some additional supports, such as assistance with finances or caring for their home, in order to achieve a more independent lifestyle.

When individuals from the Community Services Waiting List were about to receive services, they chose self-determination as a way to develop their own plans of services, determining where and with whom they would like to live. For example, some individuals live in the home of a family member and receive self-determined support services, while others rent apartments, condominiums or homes, often with roommates.

The Self-determination Initiative does not fund living arrangements in residential programs that are run by private providers, such as group homes.