The large majority of families seek residential supports for their loved one with disabilities through their state or local government's designated service agency. Such agencies assist with fact finding, identifying program resources, and providing financial resources. On occasion, families approach CSI directly to provide their loved one residential, case management, and/or day activity supports at the family's expense. While the circumstances vary, families with financial resources may make direct contact with CSI. Reasons include:
- They cannot gain status on a government-administered residential services waiting list within the desired timeframe for obtaining such supports, and they have the financial resources to proceed independently.
- They find a greater sense of security, particularly if elderly or unwell, in making future arrangements for their adult child directly with the organization they choose to provide the services, rather than leaving key decisions to government agency administrators after their death; or
- They desire limited supports (perhaps 20 hours per week) for their adult child while awaiting the availability of full-scale, government funded residential services. Families with the financial resources to pay for limited services in the interim may ask CSI to provide recreation, targeted case management, and/or respite services in support of their loved one still living in the family home.
CSI welcomes direct contacts from families who have the financial resources to explore contracting directly with a private, non-profit organization in the absence of governmental supports.
CSIs work on behalf of state government agencies in Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts. Specifically:
- CSI-CT provides residential, day activity, employment, and in-family-home supports on behalf of the CT Department of Developmental Services.
- CSI-DE provides residential and other supports on behalf of the DE Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, and
- CSI-MA provides residential, day activity (employment and recreation), and targeted case management supports on behalf of the MA Department of Mental Retardation and the MA Commission for the Blind.
Services in the Commonwealth of Virginia are organized regionally by Community Services Boards (CSBs), rather than by the state. CSI-Northern Virginia works on behalf of the Fairfax-Fall Church, Arlington, Loudoun, and Prince William County CSBs, as well as the City of Alexandria CSB.
Supplemental government relationships augment the above principal relationships. For example, programs receive Medicaid Community Waiver funds, sometimes received via the developmental disabilities services agency and other times billed directly by CSI to the state government's Medicaid agency. In another example, CSI assists persons to receive food stamps, housing vouchers, and other government services for which they are qualified from the applicable state or local agency.
CSI welcomes the opportunity to establish new contractual relationships with governments either in new regions of states in which CSI now operates (CT, DE, MA, and VA), or in wholly new states.
CSI-CT manages a Supported Employment Program, creating an opportunity to partner with local businesses. Businesses partner with CSI to create employment opportunities for persons working singly (with varying degrees of job coaching as appropriate), or with a small group of colleagues in an enclave. To illustrate, some persons supported by CSI-CT work competitively in auto parts stores, home improvement stores, retail establishments, restaurants, and factories. Some of these establishments are affiliated with national chains, whereas others have local ownership. Other persons may work in small groups to manage janitorial, grounds maintenance, or facility cleaning tasks on contract.
CSI-DE (like CSI-MA and CSI-VA) has a contractual responsibility to provide individualized day supports to persons, several seeking competitive employment. CSI staff provide job coaching to persons employed. Some persons have gained sufficient skill and confidence that they no longer have CSI job coaches. They travel to/from work and manage their assignments independently. Of note, the employers are organizationally diverse, to include the Delaware State Police and the University of Delaware. Another person supported by CSI-DE has realized her dream of working as an aide in a child care center.
CSI welcomes the opportunity to partner with local businesses and others to provide job opportunities for persons with disabilities.
CSI partners with non-profit organizations which provide complementary health/human services. Three key illustrations follow.
CSI-VA contracts with Brain Injury Services (BIS) to provide life skills training and drop-by residential supports to persons with acquired brain injury(ABI). BIS is a regional organization with responsibility for providing a continuum of services for persons with ABI on behalf of area governments The CSI-BIS working relationship is a positive one, which recognizes that CSI specializes in residential supports and BIS does not otherwise have this expertise or operate 24-hour services.
CSI-MA partners with LIGHT (Lending Individuality, Guidance and Hope To), whose mission is to support the spiritual and emotional needs of persons with developmental disabilities (and their circle of support) as they near the end of their lives. CSI has facilitated the development of LIGHT's strategic plan and welcomes LIGHT's efforts to coordinate events for caregivers and families, as well as facilitate support group meetings for persons supported.
CSI-MA also partners with Fall River Family Services on behalf of persons in shared living. Together, CSI and FRFS provide adult foster care wrap-around supports. FRFS provides clinical services, whereas CSI provides persons behavioral intervention, training in the skills of daily living, and assistance to achieve community integration.
CSI welcomes outreach from non-profit, human services organizations seeking partners to share in providing elements of the human services continuum. CSI's expertise lies in residential, employment, and case management supports for persons with disabilities.
To help persons with disabilities become contributing members of their communities, CSI seeks opportunities for community service.
Many of the people we support contribute volunteer resources and their skills to diverse non-profit organizations, including soup kitchens, food pantries, thrift shops, animal shelters, animal rescue leagues, recycling centers, and others. Examples are:
- a gentleman in Northern Virginia carries meals to persons with critical illnesses in cooperation with Food and Friends
- a gentleman in Massachusetts works in cooperation with a consignment shop, Finders Keepers, to organize and transport unsold clothing to needy families, and
- persons in Connecticut volunteer at the Marathon Health Center, to forge friendships with nursing home residents and assist in the activities program.
Sometimes volunteer opportunities become large-scale and involve many persons supported by CSI. For example, CSI-CT has established a long-term relationship with the Verizon Wireless HopeLine Program. Persons supported by CSI work together to create and distribute cell phone collection boxes throughout northwestern Connecticut. To date over 2,000 used and discarded phones have been collected by CSI-supported persons. Verizon rehabilitates the phones, supplies them airtime, and gives them to law enforcement agencies and women’s shelters to benefit women at risk of domestic violence. Persons supported by CSI have been honored by Verizon for their dedication to the program.
Persons supported by CSI-CT also participate actively in the CUREchief program in partnership with the Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Harwinton. CSI creates, decorates, and places collection boxes throughout the community seeking fabric donations. Fabric is delivered to church members who create the CUREchiefs for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. CSI-supported folks create and add a card of best wishes in each CUREchief packet and deliver assembled packets to inpatient and outpatient cancer treatment centers throughout CT. The American Cancer Society has expressed its appreciation for CSI’s partnership with Sacred Heart.
CSI-CT contracts with a public school system to provide one-to-one educational/pre-vocational activities for a young person whose challenging behaviors have caused him to be discharged prematurely and involuntarily from his prior program.
Additionally, all CSIs support young adults ages 18-22 who may have unutilized educational benefits and, as a result, CSIs have become active members of young persons' educational PPTs.
For some children, CSI-MA also plays a special role. On behalf of Massachusetts DMR, CSI-MA provides targeted case management supports to children living with their families. When identifying family issues needing critical attention, CSI often finds that families have not sought or received special education services to benefit their child and relating to the school system on the child’s behalf becomes a priority task for CSI.
CSI welcomes the opportunity to partner with public school systems on behalf of children, as well as young people who have not exhausted their public education entitlements.