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Building Confidence through Team Sports

Peer-Partners Grant Project is at the Heart of Person-Centered Practices

By Rae van Seenus on Aug 05, 2020 at 04:47 PM in UCP WORK, Inc. Blog

Available Resource for Providers to Lead Home and Community-Based Services

UCP WORK, Inc. strives to provide services that promote and enable individuals with disabilities to live as independently as possible in the community of their choice.  As stated in the agency’s 2020-2022 Strategic Plan, we will work to ensure that our supports continue to be “person-centered" in every aspect of our programs. Person-Centered Thinking mean keeping both the people UCP WORK, Inc. employs and the people we serve at the center of decision-making and emphasizes what is important to the individual’s personal preferences, satisfaction, and choice of supports. We use a set of values, skills and tools that can be used to get to know someone and discover what they find important and what they want out of life.

Richie volunteering at the Santa Barbara Humane Society

The agency also maintains a commitment to uphold the highest standards of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), which includes different kinds of long-term services and supports that help people with disabilities live everyday lives in their communities. Home and community-based settings are places where individuals with disabilities live and spend their days; for example, licensed residential settings and day programs. When Medicaid pays for HCBS, it helps people with disabilities live in their communities and live the same kind of lives as everyone else. Medicaid used to not pay for these services, but the HCBS Waiver changed the law to let Medicaid pay for services at home or in the community, and for long-term services and supports. Some service providers get money from Medicaid to deliver long term services and supports.

Job Coach supporting individual while cooking

Some examples of long-term services and supports are:

  • Adult day services.

  • Job coaches.

  • Personal care services to help with day to day activities like eating, bathing, and getting dressed.


Together with members of the Tri-Counties Regional Center Vendor Advisory Committee and other provider organizations, including subsidiary UCPLA, representatives from UCP WORK, Inc. make up a regional HCBS Task Force.  After reviewing a survey conducted by people and families served, this task force acknowledged a gap in getting HCBS information and Person-Centered Thinking resources to outlying service providers operating small businesses serving individuals with disabilities.  They concluded that there was a need to advocate and conduct outreach to providers located in rural areas to educate about HCBS and person-centered practices.  Out of this collaboration, a grant project, called the Peer-Partners Project, was established primarily as a peer support network with the purpose of empowering service providers and persons served with “peers” who have been trained in Person-Centered education, support, and consultation around the HCBS Final Rule.

Thomas practicing self-defense

The HCBS Final Rule was created to explain what home and community-based services should look like, and what they shouldn’t look like. It makes sure Medicaid doesn’t give HCBS money to programs and services that are more like institutions. The HCBS Final Rule says that people with disabilities have different options to choose from when making decisions about services and service providers.

Elise shopping for groceries

The HCBS Final Rule says people with disabilities have the right to:

  • Live in the community along with people without disabilities.

  • Have a person-centered plan.

  • Have freedom.

  • Have respect and privacy.

  • Not be restrained or secluded.


The HCBS Final Rule also says that all services in every state must be in full compliancy with the new rules by March 2023. After this date, the federal government will not pay service providers that do not meet the new rules.

Click the link for a list of upcoming 2020 Person-Centered Thinking Trainings.

The following workbook was funded by a grant from the California Department of Developmental Services and includes principles and concepts developed by and used here with permission from The Learning Community for Person-Centered Practices.

Download here a PDF copy of the “Living Well In My Community, A Guide to Home & Community-Based Service Standards and Person-Centered Practices" Workbook:

  • HCBS Guidelines – Living_Well_In_My_Community_English_Web_(1).pdf