The Arc's Top 10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Support Coordination Agency

September 5th, 2016

As individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities approach adult life, it is important to understand the processes and steps to accessing services.  Last month, we discussed the top 10 things to consider as you begin your transition to adult services.  This month, we dive deeper into the top 10 things to consider when choosing a support coordination agency:

  1. When it is time to choose a support coordination agency, you can opt to pick your top two choices or be auto assigned.  It is preferable to do your research and choose as the support coordinator becomes a very important member of your loved one’s team.  They should be someone who you feel comfortable with and who has knowledge of services that your loved one will need in their adult life.
  2. Request a copy of the “Selecting a Support Coordination Agency” Guide from the Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities.  To request a hard copy, click here.  An electronic version is available here.
  3. Check out the most up to date list of support coordination agencies on the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) website here.
  4. Narrow down support coordination agencies based on those that serve the county in which your loved one resides.
  5. Develop a standard list of questions that you plan to ask the support coordination agencies that you are interested in.  These might include:
    1. How long has your agency been providing support coordination?
    2. How many individuals do your support coordinators have on their case load?
    3. Are you familiar with services in my county?
    4. Can you provide references of families using your services?
  6. Contact the support coordination agencies of interest to begin the interviewing process.
  7. Attend provider fairs hosted by schools or agencies such as The Arc of Essex County.  Stay tuned to The Arc of Essex County’s website for upcoming “Meet the Support Coordinators” events.
  8. Narrow your list of possible support coordination agencies to two.
  9. Complete the DDD support coordination agency selection form with your top two agencies.  The form is available here
  10. Return the support coordination agency selection form to DDD.  The form can be scanned and emailed to DDD.SCHelpdesk@dhs.state.nj.us (preferred) or mailed to New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities Central Office, c/o SCA Selection Forms, PO Box 726, Trenton, NJ 08625‐0700.

For more information or questions about selecting a support coordination agency, contact The Arc of Essex County’s Senior Director of Supports Program Services Melissa Soules at msoules@arcessex.org or (973) 535-1181 ext. 1262.