Human Services Awards Contract for New Community-Based Program for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and Co-Occurring Behavioral Needs

Three New Four-Bedroom Homes Will Be Staffed with Professionals Trained to Help Prevent and Stabilize Behavioral Crises

Sept. 23, 2021

(TRENTON)Acting Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the Department has awarded a contract for the development of three four-bedroom behavioral health stabilization homes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The $4 million contract has been awarded to YAI, Inc. to develop homes to serve individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) who are experiencing behavioral challenges that make it temporarily unsafe to live at home.

“These three homes – one each in northern, central and southern New Jersey – will offer a safe, nurturing environment where individuals can receive the care they need so they can get home safely and successfully,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “This is another step forward in our work to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live and thrive in the community. With this additional support, our goal is to help individuals remain in the community and prevent hospitalization or the need for longer-term institutional care.”

The homes will be short-term placements in home-like environments staffed with professionals trained in supporting individuals with I/DD 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.

“This program will provide much-needed and highly individualized behavioral health stabilization services to the individuals served by the state and their families,” said Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Seifried, who directs the DDD. “YAI has a solid track record of providing quality services to people with I/DD across multiple states, and DDD looks forward to partnering with them to move this project forward.” 

The homes will be developed in accordance with DDD standards and policies. The homes must also be accessible, including specialized design and space planning for individuals with sensory processing difficulties.

Founded in 1957 as the Young Adult Institute, YAI is a nonprofit provider of a wide range of services for people with I/DD and their families throughout downstate New York, northern New Jersey, and California, including supportive housing, employment training, crisis support and assistive technology.

“YAI has been providing crisis intervention and stabilization for more than 35 years and we are excited to make this support available to individuals under DDD services in New Jersey,” said YAI Chief Program Officer Ravi Dahiya.

In 2016, YAI began working closely with the national Center for START Services. START (Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment) is an evidence-based, solutions-focused approach to crisis intervention for people with I/DD and mental health needs, which YAI expects to use as they develop the New Jersey homes.

Treatment teams will consist of a Board Certified Psychiatrist, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Registered Nurse (RN) and Transition Navigator, who will bring a person-centered, trauma-informed approach to service delivery.

Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities assures the opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities to receive quality services and supports, participate meaningfully in their communities and exercise their right to make choices.