Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Catholic Charities Developmental Disability Services

Community Connections

Q. What activities are done at Community Connections?

A. We do daily outings into the community to various places such as the Janesville Mall, numerous business that stimulate our participant’s senses, and parks to enjoy the beauty of nature. We also do various indoor activities like crafts, parties, and games with the participants in the facility.

Q. Do you provide transportation for your participants?

A. We have a limited route service for a set amount of participants (based on the number of available seats in each van) living outside of the city of Janesville. Participants living with a corporate provider must provide their own transportation.

Q. How do I refer someone to the center?

A. Referrals are made by completing a Referral Information form. The referral is screened by the Program Director within 10 days. The screening process is completed over the telephone with the referral source in an effort to determine the eligibility requirements are met and that the individual is an appropriate referral. After the assessment is completed, everyone involved is informed whether or not the individual is eligible.

Q. Who is not eligible for services?

A. Due to the design and staffing pattern of the center, the program is not equipped to serve individuals who are medically fragile, require full assistance in all areas of independent living, or need one-on-one supervision. The Rock County Developmental Disabilities Board ultimately determines an individual’s eligibility for services.

Q. Where does funding come from?

A. Community Connections is fully funded through a purchase of service contract with the Rock County Developmental Disabilities Board. Private pay is an option.

Community Living

Q: What services does Community Living in Marquette and Green Lake Counties provide?

A: Services are for adults with developmental disabilities who are residents of Marquette or Green Lake Counties. We provide two, 4-bed and one, 2-bed Adult Family Homes in Marquette County; and one, 3-bed in Green Lake County.

The programs are consumer-directed and focus on consumer needs and preferences. Programs emphasize the diverse and unique abilities of each person served, while at the same time providing a safe, well-supervised environment where the support needs and characteristics of each consumer are best served. Our services strive to connect individuals with the community in which they live and to provide the highest standards of support to assist each individual in reaching and maintaining his or her greatest potential for self-sufficiency.

Q: How can I receive services?

A: All referrals are made by Care Wisconsin. For Services in Marquette County call (608) 297-3901; Green Lake County contact (920) 294-4420; and in Waushara County call (920) 787-6700. Each referral is then screened by the Catholic Charities Program Director or Program Manager. Within 30 days of the initial screening and upon acceptance, a thorough assessment is completed on the person’s needs, strengths, skills and desires. Within 10 days of completing the assessment, the person being supported, the guardian (if applicable), family or significant others and the Program Manager develop a service plan based on the person’s needs, strengths, hopes, and desires identified in the assessment and skills inventory.

Q: Can my services ever be terminated?

A: Services may be terminated when a person achieves their goals or is otherwise ready to discontinue service; no longer wants the service; no longer meets eligibility requirements; refuses to meet program requirements; is court-involved and the court approves closure for mandated clients; or when a person’s needs exceed the program’s resources.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: Once you have been determined eligible, both Care Wisconsin and the Program Director of Catholic Charities set a daily rate on the level of care needed.

Q: Do you need to be Catholic to receive this service?

A: No. Catholic Charities serves and employs people regardless of sexual orientation, religious, ethnic, racial or social background.

Recreation Programs

Q:  How old do I have to be to participate in the Recreation Program?

A:  The program serves individuals age 16 and older.

Q:  How much do activities cost?

A:  For participants, the cost of activities is either minimal or free.  

Q:  Can I bring a friend with me?

A:  Absolutely! We understand the value of friendship and encourage you to bring a friend to join you at events.    

Q:  What events do you have coming up?

A:  The best way to find out about upcoming events is to check out our Events page or call Brenda Hammon in Rock County at (608) 752-4993 or, in Green County, Anna Anderson at (608) 293-1079.

Q:  Do you have a need for volunteers at the activities?

A:  Yes, we are always looking for program volunteers to help at events. We provide training, as needed, so that volunteers are comfortable helping out. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Recreation Coordinator, Brenda Hammon, at (608) 752-4993.

Q. What does Supportive Living in Dane County offer?

A. We provide or arrange for a variety of supportive services that enables people with disabilities to live as independently as possible in their own homes in the community, and have maximum choice and control over their lives. The program objectives are to provide individualized support that will assist consumers in developing daily living skills, to enhance consumer’s participation in the community as valued members, and to enable individuals to live in the least restrictive settings.

Q. What are the eligibility requirements for the program?

A. Services are available to individuals with traumatic brain injury and individuals with other developmental disabilities. The Dane County Department of Human Services’ Adult Community Services Division Intake Unit determines eligibility. Private pay is also an option if there is a documented developmental disability.

Q. How are services funded?

A. This program is fully funded through the Dane County Department of Human Services. During the evaluation period involving a new client, a budget is developed based on the person’s needs. The budget is given to the person and/or guardian, as well as the person’s broker, and final approval is given by Dane County Department of Human Services. There is also the option of private pay if no funding is available through Dane County Department of Human Services.

Q. Do you need to be Catholic to be a participant in this program?

A. No. Catholic Charities serves and employs people regardless of sexual orientation, religious, ethnic, racial or social background.

Q. What is unique about this program?

A. The support we provide to participants is individualized according to the participant’s needs and we work closely with the participant and his/her family to develop the appropriate plan of support. We also have extensive experience supporting people with traumatic brain injuries and individuals who have complex behavioral needs.  

Youth Living Alternatives

Q. What services does the Youth Living Alternatives program provide?

A. The program provides shift-staffed residential treatment foster care to children and adolescents with autism, severe emotional disturbances, or other developmental disabilities so they can live in a supportive, structured, non-traditional family setting while still living in the community. The objective of the program is to provide individualized support that will assist in the development of daily living skills so the child can live in a home-like setting with an enhanced chance at a normal life and opportunities to participate in the community.

Services offered include but not limited to: assessment, treatment planning and coordination, advocacy, recreation/community activities, behavioral consultation/management/support, educational support, independence training, and transition planning and support.

Q. What is Shift-Staffed Treatment Foster Care?

A. Shift-staffed treatment foster care provides care to children whose behaviors or conditions require a high degree of supervision and overnight awake care that is provided by staff persons who rotate shifts within a 24-hour period. Unlike family-based treatment foster care, shift-staffed treatment foster care does not include foster parents who reside in the home but the children benefit from the more home-like environment with fewer residents than that provided in a group home or residential care center. The maximum number of children that reside in this type of setting is two.

Treatment foster care with foster parents living in the home, perhaps with the presence of additional staff as necessary, should be considered as the first alternative when a child needs additional treatment or services. Shift-staffed treatment foster care should only be considered as the last community placement option when all other community options have been investigated and deemed to be unavailable or not in the best interest of the child. To ensure that the needs of children placed in shift staffed treatment foster care are met, the DHFS Exceptions Panel requests specific and detailed information when an agency applies for an exception to traditional foster care.

Since the children placed in shift-staffed treatment foster care have complex needs or behaviors, the licensing agency must assess and assure the health, safety, and well-being of all individuals receiving care. The placement of any child must not displace or endanger the safety of any other child. Before a new child is placed, the licensing agency must evaluate the compatibility of this child with any other child currently receiving care. The agency must provide adequate staffing ratios and provide staff with sufficient training to meet the needs of all individuals receiving care.

Q. How are services funded?

A. Services are funded through the Dane County Department of Human Services. During the evaluation period involving a new client, a budget is developed based on the individual’s needs and is approved by the county. Medicaid waiver funding is then sought out to cover the costs for services.

Q. How long can my child get services with this program?

A. The program serves children between the ages of 10 and 17. At the age of 18, the we will help transition the youth to adult services, if needed. If the child is still receiving extended high school vocational services, they may remain in their home until the age of 22.

Q. What happens why my child turns 18?

A. Our program will assist in transitioning the youth to adult supportive living services or prepare them to live independently after the age of 18 depending on support needs and funding availability.

Q. How do I get services for my child?

A. Services are available to children and adolescents that are residents of Dane County that receive or are eligible for waiver funding (Children’s Long Term Support [CLTS] and/or Severe Emotional Disturbance [SED]). Dane County Department of Human Services determines eligibility for services.

Q. Do you need to be Catholic to access this program?

A. No. Catholic Charities serves and employs people regardless of sexual orientation, religious, ethnic, racial or social background.

Q. How is this service different than other residential/institutional settings for children?

A. Our program creates homes in order to meet the specific needs of each child. The environment specifically reflects the child’s interests, daily support needs, and behavioral support needs.

All staff (direct care and management) are required to successfully complete a substantial amount of training prior to directly working with the child as well as once they begin supporting the individual and then on-going training throughout their employment. This ensures Catholic Charities has the most qualified and skilled employees. All employees must meet strict qualifications for employment such as:  a bachelor or associate degree from an accredited college or university with a major in social work or a related field or at least one year of full time experience working in a formal program with the type of child served by shift-staffed treatment foster care.

Q. How do you individualize services?

A. We assist each child with an individual evaluation of their needs; help them plan individual treatment; act as an advocate on their behalf; and assist in locating housing and activities in the community.