NJ Human Services Seeks Proposals for New Community-Based Program for Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities and Co-Occurring Behavioral Needs

New Homes to be Staffed with Professionals Trained to Help Prevent and Stabilize Behavioral Crises

May 5, 2021

(TRENTON) – The New Jersey Department of Human Services is seeking proposals to open three four-bedroom homes to serve individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities experiencing significant behavioral challenges that make it temporarily unsafe to live at home.

The $4 million initiative seeks to create short-term placements in home-like environments staffed with professionals trained in supporting individuals with IDD who are experiencing significant behaviors or behavior crises.

The program will not replace in-patient hospitalization when medically indicated, but will help prevent hospitalization for some individuals and will help provide a hospital discharge option to a safe and professional environment for others. 

During the short-term stay, trained professionals will assess individuals and implement new behavior management techniques so they may return home safely.

“New Jersey has been committed for years to helping support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live and thrive in the community,” Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman said.   “When individuals experience new or changing behavioral challenges that are significant, they may need additional support and new techniques to help them remain in the community successfully and prevent hospitalization or the need for longer-term institutional care. Through this program, we are creating a short-term, highly structured, nurturing housing environment complete with professional assistance to help individuals get through or prevent a behavioral crisis so they can get back home safely and successfully.”

The homes shall be developed in accordance with Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disability (DDD) standards and policies, including guidance and best practices related to COVID-19. The homes must also be accessible, including specialized design and space planning for individuals with sensory processing difficulties.

Applicants must accept all individuals referred by the DDD, and while applicants can propose programs in the same geographic area, the preference is homes in each of northern, central and southern New Jersey.

Each program must be able to serve men, women, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, and bedrooms shall be single occupancy.

Beds are to made be available for admissions daily each day of a year, with 24-hour coverage provided by at least two staff on the premises at all times when clients are present, including awake overnight coverage. Consistent and quality staffing must be provided at each home. The program manager or designee is to be available around-the-clock.

“The intent is to stabilize crises while diagnostic assessments, services, and supports that meet the individual’s needs are provided,” said Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Seifried, who directs the DDD. “The goal is to develop a plan of care that will stabilize the individual, and provide transition support and technical assistance upon their return home.”

The submission deadline for providers is July 2, and Human Services expects to make a final award in September. For more information on the request for proposals, visit here.