Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Emergency - 703-573-5679 Detox - 703-502-7000 (24/7)

703-383-8500
TTY 711

8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22031

Daryl Washington,
Executive Director

More about Self-Directed Services for individuals with developmental disability

The Self-Directed Services (SDS) VISION is that individuals with developmental disability access and participate in community based activities they determine to be meaningful and beneficial.

The SDS MISSION is to assist families, through direct funding, resource identification, and technical assistance, to purchase the support services necessary for their family members with a developmental disability to access and participate in community based activities they determine to be meaningful and beneficial.

In achieving the SDS Vision and Mission, we VALUE respect for the people we serve, quality in the services we provide, and accountability in all that we do.

The SDS program was added to the CSB Employment and Day Support Services network in July 2007. Since the first five families began receiving services eleven years ago, a total of 182 families and their family members with a developmental disability (referred to as “service recipients”) have benefitted from the SDS philosophy to:

  • Enhance individualized service plans to better meet the needs and preferences of the service recipient.
  • Build on the natural supports of the service recipient and community.
  • Reorient service use and expenditures toward the services each family and service recipient prioritizes.

As shared by one family:

“Self-Directed Services have given us the flexibility to provide our daughter with a unique experience of vocational and life skills training in the least restrictive environment that has helped her develop vocational experience, independence and confidence.”

To achieve the SDS mission, SDS funds are used to purchase the support services necessary for an individual with a developmental disability to access and actively participate in community based activities they determine to be meaningful and beneficial. SDS services are provided exclusively in the community.

Support services assist the individual with a disability to build skills that address barriers to actively participating in community based activities. 

Active participation is defined as an individual’s direct involvement in the community based activities of everyday life as independently as possible.

Community based activities utilize the community as a learning environment to build relationships and natural supports that can be applied in settings including, but not limited to recreational, social, academic, employment, or volunteer settings. Activities can be integrated to include the community at large or segregated to include others with disabilities.

Meaningful and beneficial activities are of significant importance or quality to the individual and produce good results.

Community based support services:

  • Ensure active participation in community based activities the service recipient finds meaningful and beneficial.
  • Insure the service recipient’s safety in the community.
  • Support service recipients as they learn:
    • Public safety skills such as crossing streets, understanding stop lights and other signals, not approaching strangers, accessing the appropriate bathroom (men vs. women), and seeking assistance from appropriate sources.
    • Employment and job related skills such as reliability, personal appearance, being punctual, and engaging in activities specific to a job or volunteer site.
    • Social skills such as engaging with others, displaying appropriate manners, being respectful of others, and developing and maintaining friendships.
    • Transportation skills such learning to use public transportation to get to and from work, volunteer activities, or community based activities. Support the service recipient’s personal needs (self-management, eating, etc.) while in the community.

Other eligible services and activities are identified below.

Self-Directed Services are available to individuals with developmental disability who:

  • Meet CSB service eligibility requirements.
  • Currently receive or will be authorized to receive local (Fairfax County) funding for day support or employment services.

Consideration of SDS is appropriate for individuals who:

  • Are interested in receiving service less than full time (6-7 hours per day or five days per week) and whose preferences for part-time service cannot be accommodated through traditional day support or employment services.
  • Identify a need that cannot be met through traditional day support or employment services.
  • Would like to receive services closer to home.
  • Know people from whom they wish to receive services.

SDS program success results from the partnership between the family, the service recipient, the CSB support coordinator, and SDS program staff. The family, with input from the service recipient and his/her CSB support coordinator, determines support service needs, sets a service schedule, records and documents receipt and payment for services, submits service documentation, requests funds periodically, and abides by all requirements of the SDS service agreement. As a result, SDS:

  • Increases and expands individualized service options and plans.
  • Brings greater service management to the family and service recipient.
  • Allows greater flexibility in scheduling and receiving services.
  • Offers service choices within the service recipient’s home community.

The CSB support coordinator assists the family and service recipient to identify and monitor service needs and the extent to which the family and service recipient are satisfied with services.

SDS program staff work with families to manage the SDS process. This includes monitoring services purchased, the documentation process, and the funding/reimbursement process. SDS program staff work within existing Fairfax County and CSB fiscal policies and procedures to monitor the service agreement and financial aspects of the SDS program.

Communication between each family and the service recipient, his/her CSB support coordinator, and SDS program staff occurs regularly.

  1. An eligible family expresses interest in the SDS program to the support coordinator assigned to the service recipient. If the service recipient has not been through the developmental disability services intake process, the SDS program manager will provide the family with intake information.
  2. The support coordinator assists the family and service recipient in developing a list of desired services and notifies the SDS program manager. The SDS program manager is not responsible for determining or validating the individual’s service needs, only authorizing and monitoring funding, documentation, and service agreement compliance.
  3. Working with the SDS program manager, the support coordinator develops and submits a request for funding to the CSB Employment Manager.
  4. If funding is available, the SDS program manager will develop a service agreement between the CSB and the family. The completed service agreement is submitted to the Executive Director of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, or his/her designee, for final authorization. Service agreements issued on July 1 are for a term of one year (12 months). Any service agreement issued after July 1 will end on June 30 of the following year to create alignment with the county’s fiscal year. Service agreement renewal is based on continued documentation of individual service need and the availability of county funding.
  5. Services are provided to the service recipient.
  6. The support coordinator monitors the continuing appropriateness of, and satisfaction with, services. Adjustments can be made to services and/or funding as appropriate.
  7. SDS program staff work directly with the family to monitor the financial aspects of the agreement process (disbursement, documentation, utilization, and availability of funds). Adjustments are made to services and/or funding as appropriate.
  8. The overall SDS program and process is evaluated on an ongoing basis.

Direct Services

  • Community Support Services provided by an individual who is compensated directly by the family or by an agency or business from which the family purchases support services.
  • Enrollment in a community based program designed to assist the service recipient in achieving SDS program vision and mission.
  • Employer Taxes (Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance) for an individual compensated directly by the family.
  • Employer Tax Withholding Services specifically to fulfill tax withholding and reporting requirements.
  • Transportation (Unassisted Travel) provided to the service recipient by an agency or business, such as MetroAccess, Fairfax Connector, taxi company, Metro (subway), etc., to and from eligible SDS activities.

Indirect Services

  • Transportation (Assisted Travel):
    • Mileage reimbursement for an individual or agency/business employee using his/her own vehicle while providing community support services.
    • Travel reimbursement, such as parking fees, tolls or travel expense for an individual or agency/business employee while providing community support services.
  • Activity admissions for an individual or agency/business employee while providing community support services
  • Meal reimbursement for an individual or agency/business employee while providing community support services.

Additional information about SDS is available by contacting from Joel Friedman, 703-324-4433.

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