Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Residential Support Categories


The Residential Support Categories provide guidance for decision-making in access to OPWDD residential opportunities. The Residential Support Categories listed below describe how an individual’s circumstances, and/or the circumstances of an individual’s family or caregivers, are considered when there is a need for residential support. The categories define when an individual or family’s situation is considered to be an emergency need, a substantial need or a current need.

These categories are applied when an individual who needs residential support, or the family/caregiver, is ready to actively seek this opportunity. Categories are determined when referral information, provided by a service coordinator or other referral source, is received and reviewed by the Residential Support team at one of OPWDD’s regional offices.

New Criteria

Emergency Need

Homelessness or Immediate Risk to Safety

Individual has no permanent place to live or is at imminent risk of having no permanent place to live. Individual is at imminent risk to health and safety.

Individuals Living with Family/Caregivers

Individual whose family/caregiver has an emergency situation where the primary caregiver is incapacitated for example due to long term illness and/or permanent injury and there is no other available caregiver.

Individuals Living in Other Settings

Individual is ready for discharge from a hospital or psychiatric facility; ready for release from incarceration; in a temporary setting such as a shelter, hotel, or hospital emergency department.

Substantial Need

Individuals Living With Family/Caregivers

Individual has increasing risk of having no permanent place to live. This includes an individual whose family or other caregivers are becoming increasingly unable to continue to provide care to manage the individual’s needs, including behavioral needs.

Individual is at increasing risk to their health and safety, or presents an increasing risk to the safety of self or others.

Individuals Living In Other Settings

Individual otherwise presents a substantial need for residential placement because they are: transitioning from a residential school or Children’s Residential Program (CRP); residing in a developmental center and ready to move to the community; or residing in a skilled nursing facility and ready to move to the community.

Current Need

Individual has a need for residential placement, has requested and is ready to actively seek a residential opportunity, but the need is not an emergency nor substantial as defined above.