A growing number of individuals who live and receive services in the community are choosing to self-direct those services.
Self-direction gives individuals and families greater control over the services they receive, how they receive them and who provides them. At the same time, people who self-direct must be willing to take on the responsibility of managing their services.
Although individuals who self-direct receive many different types of services, they share certain characteristics. Individuals who self-direct:
- Reside in the community, often in their own home
- Have chosen to self-direct their services and understand the responsibilities that go with that choice
- May have one or more significant, unpaid, people in their lives, such as a family member of guardian, who helps them self-direct
- Are assigned an individual budget by DDD that they use to obtain services
- Receive services and supports based on an assessment of their needs
- Have a service plan that is reviewed annually in order to make sure their needs continue to be met
- Work through a fiscal agent who pays the bills
- Hire and fire staff, arrange their own schedules and determine where their services will be delivered
- Have the option to obtain services through an agency and, if they are dissatisfied, discontinue their relationship with the agency
Realignment and Restructuring of ServicesThe Self Determination program is changing as a result of a series of system reforms related to both the recent realignment in State government and the approval of New Jersey’s Comprehensive Medicaid Waiver. For more information please refer to the Self Determination Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document or visit the Fact Sheet page.
In the futureIn the future, DDD anticipates that everyone who receives services funded by the Division will have the opportunity to self-direct. Currently, individuals who self-direct do so as a result of their participation in one of the following:
- Real Life Choices or Self-Determination – DDD’s earliest efforts to allow individuals to self-direct their services
- Self-Directed Day Services – individuals receiving day services may choose to self-direct their activities during the day, as opposed to participating in a traditional day program
- the Olmstead Initiative – individuals who leave a developmental center to live in the community have the option of self-directing their individual support and day services, as well as any other services they may receive
- Waiting List for Waiver Service – self-direction is an option for individuals whose names on this waiting list have been reached and who are now receiving services through the Medicaid Community Care Waiver