Innovative Services

Self-Directed Services provides the ability for an individual and/or family to hire his/her own staff to self-direct supports. This program promotes responsibility and self-determination by placing control and power with individuals and/or families to meet their own needs by managing the supports and services that work best for them, how and when they are provided, and the staff that provide them.


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How Does Self-Direction Work?

Self-Direction starts with a planning process to help you figure out what supports are most important to you.

You can choose to Self-Direct some or all of the services that help you:

  • Live in the home and community of your choice;
  • Work, volunteer and do activities you enjoy;
  • Have relationships with family and friends;
  • Be healthy.


Your Care Coordinator and Regional Self-Direction Liaison can help you learn about what service options exist for you.

Who Will Help Me Get Started?

If you choose to Self-Direct, you will work with a team of people who will help you select your services and put together a budget. This team, or Circle of Support, is a group of people chosen by you. Your Circle of Support could include family and close friends, your Care Coordinator, A Support Broker, and staff who know you well.

What is a Support Broker?

If you want to control how the funds in your budget are spent, you can hire a Support Broker to help you. Your Broker will build a Self-Directed budget WITH YOU based on the services and supports you need. Your Broker can also help you develop a plan to work towards outcomes you want to achieve in life.

Is Self-Direction Right For Me?

If you are eligible for OPWDD services and enrolled in the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver, you can choose Self-Direction. 

Self-Direction may be right for you if:

  • You want more flexibility with your services on your own or with help, and
  • You are ready to make decisions about your services on your own or with help, and
  • You want to take more responsibility for managing your services. 

Before you get started, take time to think about what kinds of support you need at home, in your community and in your daily life. 

If you try Self-Directing your services and it is not right for you, you can always switch back to a more traditional model of supports.


Self-Direction is a service empowering individuals with disabilities and their families to design and manage a self-directed plan based on their individual needs and goals. With assistance from a Broker, a person with a developmental disability and his/her family are able to control their own individualized and portable budgets in order to hire and manage their own staff supports. Brokers will also assist in developing a circle of support as well as a budget for services. Each self-directed plan is as unique as the participant who designed it.

Fiscal Management Services

The primary role of The Arc of Steuben’s Fiscal Management Services is to pay for the supports and services identified in the participant’s approved Self-Directed plan and budget. The Financial Management Service (FMS) functions as the official “Employer of Record.” Individuals must be enrolled in the OPWDD HSBC Waiver in order to be eligible for Self-Directed services.

Family Reimbursement Programs

We can assist families caring for other family members with developmental disabilities with increased expenses, enhancing family stability and preserving family unity.


In New York State, parents of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities are considered the natural guardians of their children until their eighteenth (18) birthday. After a person reaches 18 years of age, he or she is assumed to be a legally competent adult and able to manage his or her own affairs.

Guardianship is a planning alternative that enables parents and relatives to ensure that they, or others that they designate, may act as advocates with legal authority and maximize all necessary and available supports and resources for the benefit of their family member who may require some level of assistance in managing their personal and/or financial affairs. Legal guardianship cannot be granted from, or specified in, a will.

Primarily, guardians are family, friends and other relatives. In extenuating circumstances, the courts can appoint an organization such as The Arc Allegany-Steuben as guardian, through The Arc New York’s Corporate Guardianship Program. This offers the assurance that future decisions are made in the best interest of the individual in harmony with their values and preferences, as a concerned family member would do.

What is My Next Step?

To learn more about The Arc Allegany-Steuben’s Self-Directed Services, please contact

Jonathan Stromsness, Associate Director of Self-Directed Services, at