Self-Directed Services - Penn-Mar

Self-Directed Services


When you choose Penn-Mar to provide some of your self-directed services, we help you to curate the best staff and supports to meet your needs. Our role is to make it simpler for self-directed participants and their families to receive person-centered, high-quality services

What are Self-Directed Services?

The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) supports the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to choose to self-direct their services. 

Self-direction promotes personal choice and control over the delivery of services, such as what types of services you receive, who provides the services, and how the services are provided. It is an alternative to traditionally delivered and managed services, such as receiving services directly through a provider like Penn-Mar. Through self-direction, a person chooses their own services, selects the people or agencies who provide them, and manages all aspects of these services.

There are two key components to self-direction:

  1. Employer Authority – within Penn-Mar’s model, you are a part of the process to recruit, hire, train, and supervise the staff and/or service providers you want to provide your supports. You will be the one to make the final decisions. You and Penn-Mar both have rights to let go of the staff/service providers as necessary.
  2. Budget Authority – you decide how to spend your budgeted funding to purchase authorized services, such as Assistive Technology, Employment Supports, Community Development Services, Environmental Modifications, etc. Penn-Mar provides support for you and your broker. 

Self-direction provides participants a greater degree of choice in how, when, and where services are delivered, who delivers them, and the rate of payment for services. It means you decide what you want to achieve, how you want to live your life, what supports you prefer, and what employees or agencies will best meet your needs. It also means that you are responsible for managing these choices. 

Learn more about DDA’s Self-Directed Service Model

Interested in learning more about Self-Directed Services?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Day Program
  • Community-Based Supports
  • Personal Supports
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Hourly Respite
  • Complete all required documents
  • Attend Person Centered Planning meetings
  • Communicate incidents
  • Complete mandated reporting
  • Communicate with Penn-Mar staff
  • Attend services

Each self-directed participant and their family will be part of Penn-Mar’s interviewing process and will help to decide which staff will be the best fit to provide the selected supports 

  • Penn-Mar will enroll the selected staff in our New Hire Onboarding Program 
  • Staff will complete trainings that are required by DDA as well as good practice trainings that Penn-Mar has designed
  • Staff will be trained on all systems
  • Staff will be trained on those being supported
  • Staff will be supported through their supervisor
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