Multicultural Community Services of the Pioneer Valley, Inc.

Agency with Choice/Alternative Day Program

Alternative Day Supports is an MCS service that will allow you to choose or design your own supports within a fixed budget.

What is the purpose of Alternative Day Supports?

  • To provide individuals and families the flexibility to design a weekly program of supports that is important to them.

Who is eligible?

  • Someone who is DDS eligible and has Chapter 688 funding allocation and/or your DDS allocation
  • Each individual must be referred through a DDS Area Office Transition Coordinator or by a DDS Adult Service Coordinator
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You receive Case Management assistance to help create a weekly schedule that includes activities of your own choosing such as:

  • Volunteering, starting your own business, job exploration
  • Personal Expression – writing, visual arts, music
  • Physical Fitness – exercise classes, personal instruction (swimming, horseback riding, etc.)
  • Educational – sign language, communication technology, certificate program (first aid), take a class, pet care
  • Other possibilities include cultural, social/recreational activities, hobbies, personal safety, and community skills (banking, understanding money, shopping, and using public transportation).

Benefits of Alternative Day Supports

Families can choose the supports they want, when they need them and have access to an MCS Case Manager. 

Things to consider when deciding if “personalized supports” are right for you and your family member…

  • Individual services may be more expensive, which could result in fewer hours
  • The greater time commitment on the part of the family is required
  • You hire your own staff, you have obligations to provide daily oversite and training

They might be right for you if:

  • You want more flexibility in your services
  • You want more control over your budget
  • You want to manage your support workers
  • You want to hire your own staff
  • You do not require full daytime coverage (30 hours)
  • You are willing to accept increased responsibilities

Your responsibilities:

                      • Develop a plan with MCS and DDS representatives
                      • Obtain DDS budget approval
                      • Stay within the budget amount
                      • Participate with external monitoring for program safety and spending accountability

Alternative day and family supports can be a good choice when you are in transition or need a short-term option.

What should I do if I’m interested in Alternative Day Supports?

  • Meet with a DDS 688 Transition Coordinator or Adult Service Coordinator to discuss Agency with Choice/Alternative Day or other day options
  • Speak with your Family Support provider
  • For more information, please call MCS Program Director Lisa Podworski at 413.782.2500 ext. 314 or email

Can I change my mind if Alternative Day Supports is not working for me or for my family member?

Yes! You can always meet with an MCS Case Manager and a representative from DDS to discuss other day options.