Affiliate

Affiliate is the restructuring of a group arrangement into more individualized and responsive support structures. It supports twenty persons which live under twelve different roofs .It’s major type of support systems involves some kind of live-in/live near staffing. It is a continuous learning environment for the agency. It constantly strives to the following principles: Transparency, Self-monitoring, Self-correcton, Personal mastery, Intentionality, Innovation, Integrity, Partnerships.

Family Support Services

Family Support, funded by the Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), offers varied services to families with a son, daughter, or relative with intellectual disabilities and, in some instances, developmental delays living at home. The goal of Family Support is to provide families with the resources and services they need to maintain their family member at home.

Description of Services

The Arc of Rensselaer County Family Support Services provides the following services to families who live in Rensselaer County and occasionally others who may live in other counties:

In Home Services: Respite and other forms of habilitation services are provided to individuals in their home by trained staff. This type of support offers skilled assistance to the family member with a disability in developing new skills, typically while other family members attend to activities outside the home.

Hourly Respite: Provides short-term relief to primary caregivers. Social and recreational opportunities are provided one-on-one in the home or community.

Community Habilitation: Provides a goal based service, one-on-one in the home or community. Examples of some goal areas include hygiene, household chores, budgeting, or community inclusion.

Free Standing Respite: Provides weekend overnight respite services in a small home. Between four to six guests can be accomodated per weekend. Guests may choose to stay overnight or come for day visit. Guests engage in social and recreational opportunities while at the respite house.

Recreation: Provides evening and weekend recreational activities for teens and adults. These include a variety of community based opportunities for socialization, exercise and leisure.

Family Reimbursement: Provides financial resources to families that have a child with a disability when their needs cannot be met by any other resource. Examples include past due heating bills, clothing, school supplies, respite, and medical equipment not covered by insurance. For more information contact Cindy Case at 518-273-6600 ext 2049 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Medically Frail Reimbursement: Provides financial resources to families whose children are medically vulnerable or frail. Examples include medical supplies, medications, equiptment, and transportation to appointments.

Guardianship: This service assists families through the legal process of becoming a guardian for an adult with a disability.  For more information contact Cindy Case at 518-273-6600 ext 2049 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Summer Camp: A six--week program offered from July-to August for children with or without disabilities. Ages range from five to twenty-one years old. Camp focuses on sports, science, nature and, arts and crafts. Weekly trips to Grafton State Park occur for hiking, swimming and games.

Residential Services

The Arc of Rensselaer County provides residential supports to over 170 individuals who live in over 80 locations throughout the agency's service area. The Arc provides a range of services, from the traditional group home setting to supportive apartments and life-sharing. Group residential settings provide 24-hour staff supports to a group of three or more individuals. Supportive apartments provide staff supports to one or two individuals living in their own apartment as needed. Life sharing offers live-in staff support in the same home as the person being supported. Paid neighbors offer live-near supports and reside in either the same building or complex as the person supported. The residential structure varies depending on the needs and wishes of the person supported. The Arc of Rensselaer County prides itself in creatively tailoring supports around people and their families.

Types of Residential Support

  • Group Residential Settings: Group settings provide 24 hours support. Every person has a bedroom of their own and shares common living space, such as the kitchen, dining rooms, and some bathrooms. Staffing levels are based on the needs of the people to balance safety and freedom.
  • Supportive Living Arrangments: Supportive arrangements offer residential supports without 24-hour staff. Staff schedule times and activities with the person. Some examples of typical supports are money and home management, community inclusion, and relationship building. Staff are available 24-hours a day for emergencies.
Life Sharing:
  • Live-ins: We support a number of people who like the experience of having their own home while maintaining the safety and support of having staff 24-hours a day. This option meets the needs of those who desire or need 24-hour support in a non-traditional manner. Supports are person-specific, but in all cases the home is the person’s home and the staff live with the person supported.
  • Paid Neighbors: This offers companionship and support to individuals who want to live on their own but would benefit from having immediate access to 24-hour supports. Paid neighbors can provide 24-hour emergency supports. These staff live either in the same building or complex as the person they support. They are hired by the person they support and provide individual services depending on needs. One example of these services is a paid neighbor who lives upstairs from a married couple who has a toddler. The paid neighbor offered supports throughout the couple’s pregnancy and offers the couple a great balance between independence and support.
SMALL, INDIVIDUALIZED SETTINGS

The Arc of Rensselaer County prides itself in offering small, individualized settings and is transforming its larger homes to more individualized settings. For twenty years the agency has not developed a site serving more than three people. The largest site provides services to eight people. Since 2000, three group homes have been closed and supports are now provided on a more individualized basis. Another six group homes have been downsized and now support fewer people in a single setting.

FAMILY PARTNERSHIP

The Arc of Rensselaer County offers many unique options to partner with families.

  • The Arc worked with a family to offer them 24-hour residential support to their two children while maintaining close proximity. The family worked with the agency to convert their home into two apartments. The parents reside in the upstairs apartment and their adult children live in the downstairs apartment, which is a state certified 24-hour supervised IRA.
  • The Arc worked with a mother and her two adult children to individualize their supports. One son had received traditional supportive apartment services. State regulations were not appropriate to his needs, so the agency partnered with the family to transition him to non-certified, self directed supports. Her other son lived in a traditional supervised setting with two others. The agency partnered with the family to think of creative ways to meet his needs. He still receives 24-hour supports, but instead of living with two others, he lives with his mother and sister. Both men have been very successful in their individual services and neither had to change homes.

The Arc Summer Camp

The Arc of Rensselaer County’s Summer Camp is a six-week inclusive program serving campers ages five to 21 years old. The home location for the camp rpgoram is Tamarac Middle Schools.  The program is packed with onsite and offsite activities, including but not limited to bowling, a day at the movies, a trip to The Great Escape, and arts & crafts.  There are also fun theme days such as Favorite Superhro Day and Olympic Day.

For information on the 2016 Summer Camp program, which begins on July 5, please contact Craig Bujold at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call him at 518-273-6600 ext. 2014.

The Arc of Rensselear County provides transportation to and from day camp for participants as needed (baded on location) within Rensselaer County.

Sign up today for the CAMP OF FUN and experience it for yourself!

See brochure for details.

 

Self Directed Services

In its more formal offering self-directed support is labeled Consolidated Supports and Services, CSS is a support option offered by The Arc of Rensselaer County. It gives the individual and their family the opportunity to co-design and direct their supports. In CSS, we can provide service start-up and brokerage services, act as a fiscal administrator and provide the supports as identified by the individual.

The Arc of Rensselaer County has spent several years learning to have partnerships with the individual and their family to have successful support arrangements. We have many people living life in the way that they desire, either by themselves or with non-disabled roommates or paid neighbors. Many people have jobs, volunteer opportunities or even going to College. For more information please contact by email Lisa Anderson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Testimonials and Success Stories

“They say the days are long, and the years are quick”

By Tracey Hempel
Associate Executive Director of Community Supports

April 29, 2016 will be my 20th Anniversary with The Arc of Rensselaer County; thankfully it’s also a Friday! I can say for certain that when I crossed over the river, I didn’t anticipate the journey that I was about to begin. We had 28 hour shifts back then, I was a floater (DSP) which meant I worked at every location, but Hoosick St., Detroit and Euclid Ave were places that I called home. They were the absolute joys of my work schedule; now that’s not to say that I didn’t love other place or people, but I had an undeniable, almost innate, connection with the people who lived in those places. I look back at those memories, like I do my childhood memories. For all intents and purposes, they could be because no place and no one person has defined me more than The Arc. Ok, maybe my kids and my husband have had a hand in shaping me too, but in three years, I will have been working at The Arc for half of my adult life. I would be lying if I told you that statement doesn’t impact me; I am who I am because of all of the people who I have crossed paths with over the years, all of the experiences they shared with me and the lessons that came along the way. For that, I am thankful.

(Tracey is shown in the picture above with Rob Beza in 1997)
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