Family Support & Advocacy

Family Support & Advocacy

The array of services for adults with developmental challenges and ways to access them can be complicated, leaving many people and their family members wondering who to turn to for help. At times, people with disabilities also find the need for someone to advocate on their behalf and/or teach them how to advocate for themselves to get their needs met. To address this variety of issues, Abilities First offers Family Support & Advocacy.

LifePlan CCO logo.

Care Coordination Liaison

Beginning in July of 2018, coordination of services under Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is completed within state-authorized Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs). These CCOs are owned and operated by corporations formed by groups of non-profit service providers like Abilities First.

This Care Coordination system replaced what was known as Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC) where service coordinators were employed by individual non-profits like Abilities First. While the goal of Care Coordination is to enhance the quality of services people receive, at times families still do need someone to act as liaison between the person and their family, service providers like Abilities First and the CCO. Abilities First has a dedicated Director of Family Support & Advocacy to perform this role when it is needed.

Abilities First has partnered with LIFEPlan CCO NY to provide enhanced Health Home Care Management Services. LIFEPlan CCO NY will coordinate medical behavioral health, long-term services and support needs for our individuals.

A woman teaching a lesson with a whiteboard.

Family Education & Training

Each year, Abilities First arranges a variety of educational seminars designed to provide information to parents and participants. These seminars range in size and scope from small personal training opportunities to large community conferences.

Common topics include:

  • First Aid Basics
  • Self-Directed Services
  • Guardianship
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Helping Your Loved One Get Through the Holiday Season

The Family Education & Training Workshops are free and open to families of Abilities First.

For additional information about Abilities First Family Support & Advocacy Services see our Frequently Asked Questions or contact Mark Nace, M.S., Vice President of OPWDD & Community Services at 845-485-9813 ext 378.