Research on Employment Supports for People with Disabilities: Summary of the Focus Group Findings. Community-Based Programs and Policies


Independent Living. This program enables persons who are blind or visually impaired to lead a full and productive life and to aid them in adapting to their vision loss. Services of this program include: social casework; in-home nursing services training (e.g. self administering medications and insulin shots); in-home instruction in daily living skills; instruction for independent travel and orientation to the home community, work or school environment; child care training; instruction in communication methods; referral to community resources; and training at the Joseph Kohn Rehabilitation Center in New Brunswick.

Prevention Services. This program is designed to save sight and restore vision whenever medically possible. The Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired conducts and sponsors a variety of educational programs and eye health screening throughout the State to detect vision problems. Services include mobile eye examination units; vision screening for preschool and school-age children; eye health nursing; on-site screening at institutions and in communities; special diabetic outreach program; and other specialized eye screening programs which target historically underserved populations (i.e. minorities, the elderly, migrant farm workers, etc.)

Community Services. The Division of Human Services purchases community mental health services through contracts with approximately 125 not-for-profit provider corporations. The Division's programs include the following programs:

  • Emergency Screening Services to provide crisis stabilization and to determine need for involuntary commitment.

  • Outpatient Services to provide ambulatory community mental health services such as periodic therapy and counseling, medication administration and monitoring.

  • Partial Hospitalization and Partial Care, the most intensive ambulatory community mental health service provides day treatment and psycho-social rehabilitation services.

  • Residential Services in community residences including group homes, supervised apartment and family care homes.

  • Integrated Case Management providing outreach services to engage, support, and integrate individuals with serious mental illness into their community and to facilitate their access to and use of available resources to maximize their independence.

  • Programs of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) providing comprehensive, integrated rehabilitation, treatment and support services to those most challenged in coping with serious and persistent mental illness within a multi-disciplinary service delivery team approach.

  • Systems Advocacy to provide legal and companionship services and self-help centers.

  • Other services including supported employment, intensive family support services for families of persons with mental illness, services to the homeless mentally ill, and services to individuals with alcohol or drug abuse in addition to mental illness.

Through community-based programs, the Division of Human Services provided an estimated 257,600 episodes of care in FY 2000 at a cost of about $207 million.

The Family Support Act. Signed into law March 29, 1993, the Family Support Act made the Division of Developmental Disabilities responsible for creating a system of family support for people with developmental disabilities. This program includes cash subsidies; communication and interpreter services; counseling and crisis intervention; day care; equipment and supplies; home and vehicle modifications; homemaker assistance; medical and dental care; personal assistance services; respite care; self-advocacy training; therapeutic or nursing services; and voucher services.

Additionally, the Family Support law created Regional Family Support Planning Councils. The Councils make recommendations to a Family Support Coordinator, under the direction of the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council.