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Questions to ask when visiting a community-based day support program (CBDS)

Questions parents should ask each agency about programming, staffing, availability, access to community, their philosophy and who they serve.

By Denise Fitzgerald

Each agency you visit provides unique programming based on many factors that include who they serve, the philosophy of the agency, access to community, availability of transportation/agency vehicles, staff to participant ratio, equipment, and more.

Typically participants in a Community-Based Day Support Program (CBDS) gather each morning at a center and head out for community activities with staff for the bulk of the day.

Participants in CBDS are supervised and often travel in small groups, sometimes in agency vehicles, sometimes in staff cars.

Each agency has a unique application process and it is important to find out as much about their expectations for follow-up as possible. Agencies usually will want to exchange contact information and you are welcome to request additional general information after your initial visit.

Specific questions about your child’s admission status or other details pertaining only to your situation should be directed towards the DDS (Department of Developmental Services) transition coordinator assigned.

It’s good to bring a recent photo of your son/daughter, and to be able to articulate a little about their needs in terms of daily living, mobility, and communication. If you think the agency might be a possible fit MUCH more information will be collected and sent in the referral packet.

For the initial visit, just bring an open mind!

Prior to Visiting a Program:

Observations Based on the Tour/Visit:



Other considerations:

Moving forward:

If the parent feels there is a potential “fit,” they should contact their DDS service coordinator to discuss making a formal referral. There will be lots of medical information requested, along with information from the school. The student’s school will typically supply all testing that is part of the student’s file, as long as there is a signed consent to release information. A comprehensive transition portfolio could also be developed in the last few years of school. Please make sure that the portfolio is shared with adult providers!

Transportation to the day programs can present a hurdle. It is crucial to understand transportation options depending on the type of program you select for your son or daughter.  Work directly with the agency and DDS to become informed of transportation options.

Transitioning to a new agency post-Secondary education can be exciting! It is understandable that new programming brings new concerns.  Please reach out to your DDS service coordinator for answers and to make suggestions.

Questions for parents visiting a CBDS program

Pinterest collage of CDBS questions

By Denise Fitzgerald

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