Multicultural Community Services of the Pioneer Valley, Inc.

Multicultural Community Services (MCS) provides a number of programs for adults age twenty-two and over with intellectual disabilities and their families. Participating families must first be found eligible for services through the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and then referred to MCS by the appropriate DDS area office. Within Adult Services there are three main components: service navigation, respite support and financial assistance. Service Navigation offers families the opportunity to receive information and referral support from an MCS Service Navigator. The Navigator will assist families as needed in accessing generic supports such as Social Security, MassHealth, fuel assistance, PCA services or other relevant public programs. In addition to service navigation, the Adult Services Program offers two primary program supports: financial assistance and respite supports. Families may utilize the financial assistance for allowable expenditures such as assistance with medical expenses not covered by insurance, the purchase of adaptive equipment, access to transportation services or short term emergency needs. Prioritization of funding is determined by the DDS area office through an assessment of need and an availability of funding. MCS is a qualified provider to offer the following types of services.

Group Respite

Group Respite has proven to be one of the most creative and lowest cost options provided through MCS. A broad range of respite opportunities are offered throughout the year with activities designed to appeal to people with a wide variety of interests and skills. Participants are instrumental in the selection and planning of activities.

Individualized Respite

Individualized respite provides families the opportunity to identify a person of their choice to provide respite or they may utilize an MCS staff person to provide this service. Respite can occur in the family’s home or in the community, and the times are flexible as determined by the family.

Overnight Respite

Overnight respite is an important service to many individuals and families. MCS offers three options for adult overnight respite. The first option matches individuals with disabilities with MCS staff at the staff member’s home. The second option allows individuals and families to identify their own respite provider. The third option, available to families in the Springfield/Westfield area, is the respite house at 3 State Street in Westfield. One or two guests may stay at a time for the weekend. The house is staffed with well-trained, dedicated employees who arrange weekend activities geared toward the interests of individuals staying at the house.

Alternative Day Program

The Alternative Day Program provides individuals and families the opportunity to design, in partnership with DDS and MCS, an individualized array of supports in the place of a traditional day program. This program is ideal for families who want to have more flexibility in designing the supports for their family member, and who want increased involvement in the day to day running of the program. Alternative Day Supports may include volunteer work, recreational activities, job exploration, physical fitness, educational opportunities and skills development.