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Overview of DDSN Services

Overview of DDSN’s Intellectual & Development Disability Services 

DDSN strives to serve all South Carolinians who are eligible for services and to ensure that services meet high standards.   

The first service is a diagnostic evaluation to determine if a person is eligible for DDSN services (see “Applying for Services”).  The terms Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disability(ID/DD) cover a broad range of disorders and syndromes, many of which are not well understood by the general public.

An intake service provider coordinates this eligibility process (no cost).  If qualified, the new individual selects a case manager to help plan needs-based services.  A case manager coordinates services with a “person-centered planning” approach, which is built upon the vision of what the individual would like to do in the future.

Upon becoming eligible for DDSN services, a case manager can coordinate some limited services immediately and developmentally delayed children (ages 3-6) can obtain immediate Early Intervention services.  However, the most important services to meet an individual’s life-long needs are obtained through entrance into a Medicaid service program.  The DDSN public service delivery system relies predominately on Medicaid programs to leverage state funding to maximize services available to the ID/DD community.  As a result, individuals will need to obtain Medicaid eligibility to access the vast majority of ID/DD services offered through DDSN.      

The Medicaid Programs serving ID/DD are both Home and Community-Based (HCBS) and Intermediate Care Facilities.  HCBS Programs are the Community Supports Waiver, ID/RD Waiver, and the Head and Spinal Cord Injury Waiver (see “Medicaid Home and Community Based Waivers”).  These three HCBS waivers serve approximately 12,000 individuals; 4000 in residential settings and 8000 at-home with their families.  ICFs serve 1140 individuals; 480 in community settings and 680 in five state operated Regional Centers. 

An overview of at-home services to enable individuals remain in their own home include:

  • Early intervention is a family-focused, in-home service for children age 3 to 6.  An Early Interventionist helps families understand their child’s development and gives specific training to address areas of delay.
  • Respite services provide temporary care to individuals, which allows families or caregivers to handle emergencies, personal situations, or take a break.  
  • At-Home Supports provides support for independent living, such as access to the community, pay bills, shop for groceries, access medical care, and other personal assistance as needed.
  • Employment Services provide assistance to obtain and sustain employment.  This service enables people to earn wages and opportunities to interact with non-disabled workers.  Supported employment includes job coaching, work enclaves, and mobile work crew opportunities.
  • Adult Day Services provide a safe and healthy environment for people to develop social and personal care skills for more independent and productive lives.
  • Individual and Family Support is available to assist individuals and families who incur additional expenses due to the individual’s disability.

Residential services support individuals based on their unique needs, which include: 

  • Supported and Supervised Living Program Models provide adults with needed support to live in apartments or other (single family) housing.  Supervision and support services are tailored to the person’s needs.
  • Community Training Home (CTH) Models offer people the opportunity to live in a homelike environment under the supervision of qualified and trained staff.  Caregivers are either trained private citizens who provide care in their own homes (CTH I) or service provider employees caring for individuals in a home operated by the provider agency (CTH II).  A variation of CTH IIs (up to 4 individuals) are Community Residential Care Facilities, which normally serve about 8 individuals.     
  • ID/DD Community Intermediate Care Facilities are residences for individuals needing maximum support for their high levels of need.  Twenty-four-hour care, supervision, training, recreation, and other activities are provided in this structured environment.
  • ID/DD Regional Center Intermediate Care Facilities are operated by the state at five locations across the state, which provide 24-hour care, supervision, and treatment to DDSN’s most fragile individuals with the greatest need for support.  Regional Center care is generally recommended only when all other appropriate community services are not available.