Family Supports

Family Support offers a variety of community-based services, including Medicaid Service Coordination, Day and Community Habilitation, Respite and Recreational opportunities. We utilize a person-centered approach in assisting people determine what services they’d like to receive. The person-centered philosophy involves looking at each individual and their strengths, interests, preferences and abilities, as well as needs. This puts the person in the “driver’s seat” of their own life, and they direct the planning process. A variety of approaches may be used to assist the individual in expressing what their lifestyle choices are.

Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC)

MSC provides case management, linkage and referral to needed and desired services. MSCs also serve as an advocate to people, and assist them in ensuring they have opportunities to exercise all of the rights afforded to them, regardless of their disability. MSCs meet with each person regularly and engage in person-centered planning activities to ensure that each person’s individualized plan is kept current and in-line with their life goals. Service Coordination promotes the concept of choice, individualized services and support and each person’s satisfaction. MSC's also assist with benefit attainment and maintenance (Medicaid, SSI, etc.).

Family Member Training (FMT)

Family Member Training provides support to people and their families, who reside together in the community. An FMT staff member provides skill building and opportunities for skill acquisition in order to enrich the life of each member of the family. The FMT staff also link and refer family members to community resources that can enhance the skills being taught in the home. The basic goal of the program is to help families become more effective and functional, recognizing the needs of each individual member.

Community Habilitation 

Community Habilitation is a skill-building support, designed to focus on areas of skill that can help people reside more independently in their community. Utilizing a person-centered approach, Community Habilitation staff work with the person and their Circle of Support to determine the areas in which skills need, or want, to be learned. Some common areas are budgeting, housekeeping, grocery shopping, cooking, health/wellness, socialization and community inclusion. Once a person’s Community Habilitation plan has been developed, staff provide one-on-one assistance to help the person acquire and keep each skill. The ultimate goal of the program is to assist people in being independent, contributing and valued members of their communities. Through self-direction, a person and their family can be as involved as they desire in the hiring/scheduling of staff and planning of supports.  

Day Habilitation

The Arc of Chemung's Day Habilitation is a community-based program offering daytime activities for adults. Through this program, people are provided with opportunities to participate in volunteer activities, social/recreational events, crafts and other community activities that provide people with valuable social experiences. Using a person-centered approach, this program also assists people in gaining skills in various areas in order to be more independent. Some people may attend this program as a stepping stone to gaining valuable experiences that they may later use in a work setting. This program operates on weekdays from 8:30am-2:30pm.

Community Respite

The Family Support program offers several types of group and individualized respite. This includes a summer program, after-school program, and various recreational events where individuals can be provided with support in group settings. Community respite is also an opportunity for people to work on socialization and community skills. These opportunities also provide caregivers with relief, knowing that their family member is being supported by trained and knowledgeable staff. Individualized, home and community-based respite is also provided on a limited basis.


The Arc of Chemung’s recreation program has provided people with disabilities with meaningful leisure time activities for many years. Activities have included (but not been limited to) bowling, crafts, dances, bocce, swimming, exercise, couponing, caroling and participation in the various Special Olympic events in our area. Additionally, through this program some people have found an artistic side and have had their creations professionally displayed at various events. Both youth and adult recreational activities are available and we are always looking for new and innovative ideas to provide more opportunities.

Interim Case Management (ICM)

The OPWDD eligibility and Front Door processes can be very time intensive, but some people need help now. The Interim Case Management program can assist people as they go through these processes who may be in need of housing, financial benefits, medical services, or who simply need to learn more about what is available to them in their community. The ICM will assist the individual in navigating required processes and obtaining the information/evaluations they need to move forward.

Self-Directed Supports

Self-Directed Supports are an OPWDD Home and Community Based Services waiver that empowers people with disabilities and their families to design and manage services based on their individual needs and goals. Self-Directed Supports are the essence of community inclusion, and because self-directed supports are created by the participant and those the participant chooses to help, each plan is as unique as the participant who designed it. With assistance from a financial management services agency (FMS), self-directed supports participants control their own individualized, portable budgets, and may choose to hire and manage their own staff supports. Self-directed plans and budgets allow participants to access the supports needed to:

  • live at home or in a home of their own,

  • pursue interesting and meaningful employment, volunteer, or other community activities,

  • engage in satisfying, productive relationships with family, friends, and community members, and

  • maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Kids on the Block 

Kids on the Block is a troupe of educational puppets that dress and act like real children. Each nearly life-sized puppet character has a distinct personality and life story. Like real children, some have developmental, physical, or emotional disabilities. The Kids on the Block program is powerful in helping break down barriers, enabling children to be candid with their questions and concerns. The puppets also help children feel positive about themselves, accept individual differences and learn valuable personal skills.

CLICK HERE for a Kids on the Block Fact Sheet. 


Financial Supports

The Arc of Chemung has limited ability to provide financial supports, but can do so in certain situations through the following initiatives:

  • Individual Support Services - This is an OPWDD-approved financial service that can help people living independently in the community in “closing the gaps” between their income and legitimate expenses.

  • Family Reimbursement - Provides financial assistance for goods and services and/or respite for families that have a developmentally disabled family member living at home. Items that can potentially be reimbursed: adaptive equipment, incontinence products, special dietary needs (as prescribed by a physician), etc. Awards are based on available funds and number of applicants.  Reimbursement is limited to $1,500 of allowable expenses for one calendar year.

  • Camp Reimbursement - Through this program, individuals who wish to attend camps that are designed specifically for people with disabilities can have their admission/attendance fees paid. Reimbursement is made on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to $500 per person, per calendar year.


To apply for reimbursement for the services listed, please contact the Family Supports Administrative Assistant, Rebecca Frank, by calling 607.734.6151 ext. 149 or email


For additional information about our family supports, please contact the Intake/Outreach Coordinator, Judy Jarosch, by calling 607.734.6151 ext. 154 or email or Family Services Director, Craig Mennig, by calling 607.734.6151 ext. 192 or email


CLICK HERE for a Family Supports Fact Sheet.