Columbia Montour Snyder Union
Counties of Central Pennsylvania
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Central Susquehanna Valley
Local Interagency Coordinating Council


 

HOW DO I ACCESS DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES?

 

Services are available for any child or adult who meets the criteria for a diagnosis of Intellectual Disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder. The individual must reside in Columbia, Montour, Snyder or Union County to begin the enrollment process. Consent for services must be obtained from the individual or family/guardian of a minor.


Anyone interested in making a referral or a general inquiry about supports and services for individuals with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder should contact the CMSU Developmental Services Office at 570-275-6080 or 1-800-451-9720.


When making a referral, you will be asked to provide basic information about the individual. This information will include: name, parents' names if a minor, address including county of residence, date of birth, living situation, education, reason for referral, and diagnosis. You will be asked to provide documentation to support a diagnosis of intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder.


Intake Meeting. The next step in the process is the intake meeting. This is the first face-to-face contact with the Intake/Enrollment Coordinator, a representative of the county, after the eligibility documentation has been received. This meeting can occur at the CMSU office located at 1083 Bloom Road Suite 101, Danville, or any location of the person's choice. More often than not, this meeting occurs at the individual's home. At the intake the supports coordinator will gather information to learn about the person's current situation and their history. Historical information may be needed as part of the eligibility determination process. The Intake/Enrollment Coordinator will obtain written permission to request information from other sources such as the person's physician, educational program, etc. if needed to determine eligibility. The intake/Eligibility Coordinator will provide an overview of how the system works. The individual and/or family will receive information on LifeCourse Framework, service definitions, PUNS (waiting list), Medicaid Waivers and other information to assist them in understanding the system.


Eligibility. An individual's eligibility for services must be established through documents generated by qualified professionals that support the criteria set forth by the Office of Developmental Programs for a diagnosis of intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder. These documents include for Intellectual Disability: a standardized general intelligence test, an assessment of adaptive skill areas and evidence that the intellectual disability originated during the developmental period. For Autism spectrum disorder: a standardized assessment and/or evaluation by a licensed professional to document that an individual meets the criteria for a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, along with a standardized assessment of adaptive functioning showing at least three areas of substantial limitation, documentation or clinical opinion that the diagnosis originated prior to age 22 and be eligible for medical assistance. If these documents cannot be obtained from other sources, then the intake/enrollment coordinator will arrange an evaluation with a licensed psychologist.


Supports Coordination. Once eligibility has been established, the individual/family will be offered choice of a supports coordination entity. A supports coordinator will be assigned and they will utilize the LifeCourse Framework to develop a vision for what the individual wants to see happen in their life. What are the individual’s life outcomes and goals. The supports coordinator will develop and individualized support plan and will help locate resources for the supports and services identified in the plan. The supports and services may be natural supports, resources available to anyone in the community, or they may refer them for services that are funded through ODP by placing them on the PUNS. The supports coordinator is responsible for monitoring services that are being provided.
An ongoing relationship develops between the supports coordinator and the individual/family. The supports coordinator meets regularly with the individual and the family to assess the individual's/family's level of satisfaction with services, ensures that services provided in the individual's plan continue to meet the person's needs, monitors service outcomes and quality, and monitors the individual's health and well-being.


Funding Options. The supports coordinator will discuss the various funding options that are available both public and private. A PUNS or Prioritization of Urgency of Need will be completed whenever funding is needed to meet the service needs identified in the individual support plan. The waiting list is done by priority so there is no way to say how long a person will be on the waiting list. While most services are provided at no cost, some services require the completion of a financial determination by the County Assistance Office. Supports coordination services are provided at no cost to the individual or family. Individuals with Medical Assistance will have supports coordination services billed to their ACCESS card. Services obtained outside of CMSU may have co-pays as per insurance or Medical Assistance policies.


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