What is Green Mountain Support Services (GMSS)?

GMSS is a Specialty Services Agency (SSA) with our main office in Morrsiville Vermont. We are one of 15 agencies in the State of Vermont that has been designated to provide community-based services under the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living (DAIL). 10 of these agencies are Designated Agencies (DA) and five of these agencies (including GMSS) is a specialty service agency.

excerpt from ddsd.vermont.gov:

Designated Agencies (DA)

The Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) designates one Designated Agency (DA)in each geographic region of the state as responsible for ensuring needed services are available through local planning, service coordination, and monitoring outcomes within their region.

There are ten Designated Agencies contracted by DAIL that provide developmental services in Vermont. DAs must provide services directly or contract with other providers or individuals to deliver supports and services consistent with available funding; the state and local System of Care Plans; outcome requirements; and state and federal regulations, policies and guidelines. Some of the key responsibilities of a DA include intake and referral, assessing individual needs, providing regional crisis response services, and seeing there is a comprehensive service network that assures the capacity to meet the support needs of all eligible people in the region.

Specialized Service Agencies (SSA)

There are five Specialized Service Agencies (SSA) that provide developmental services.  A Specialized Service Agency (SSA) is a separate entity that is also contracted by DAIL. It must be an organization that either:

  • Provides a distinctive approach to service deliver and coordination;

  • Provides services to meet distinctive individual needs; or

  • Had a contract with the Department of Developmental and Mental Health Services (DDMHS) developed originally to meet the above requirements prior to January 1, 1998.

What is a Shared Living Provider?

A Shared Living Provider (SLP) is an individual or couple that is contracted by Green Mountain Support Services, Inc. to provide an individual (client) with developmental disabilities a home, meals and safe atmosphere. The SLP assists the client with every day living skills as well as making the client a member of their family and their surrounding community.

How are Shared Living Providers reimbursed for the expenses that occur while caring for their client?

Shared Living Provider is a business associate who receives a monthly tax-free stipend in addition to Room and Board.

How Do I Become a Shared Living Provider?

To become a Developmental Home Provider through Green Mountain Support Services the interested individual(s) will need to call Green Mountain Support Services office at 1-802-888-7602, or 1-800-698-7602 and ask to have a Developmental Home Provider Request for Consideration (home provider application), which includes background and DMV record checks, mailed to them. Once the interested individual has the application filled out they need to mail it back to Green Mountain Support Services, Inc The application will be kept on file. When a referral of a new client and/or an opening for DH from an existing client becomes available all the applications are reviewed in order to find the most successful match for both the client and the potential DH.

What is a Direct Support Professional?

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) support individuals with an intellectual disability who need assistance to live their lives and enjoy the same benefits as people without disabilities. They support people in ways that enhance inclusion and independence. More specifically, as defined in the Congressional Direct Support Professional Recognition Resolution in 2003 (S. Con. Res. 21/H. Con. Res. 94), DSPs are individuals who are employed to “provide a wide range of supportive services to individuals with an ID on a day-to-day basis, including habilitation, health needs, personal care and hygiene, employment, transportation, recreation, housekeeping and other home management-related supports, so that these individuals can live and work in their communities” and “lead self-directed, community and social lives” (Congressional Record, November 4, 2003, p. H10301).

DSPs work in a range of settings, including family homes, people’s own homes, intermediate care facilities, small community residential group homes, community job sites, vocational and day training programs and others. They include full-time (70 percent) and part-time (30 percent) employees (Hewitt et al., 2015).

Employers assign a wide range of job titles for Direct Support Professionals, such as direct support specialist, habilitation specialist, job coach, residential counselor, family care provider, personal assistant and others. The vast majority of DSPs work in the private sector for both for-profit and nonprofit companies. In some states, large numbers of DSPs work for state agencies that still deliver services directly to people with an ID. A small percentage of the DSP workforce is represented by organized labor.

What is Person-Centered Thinking?

As described by our friends at First Person Services:

Person centered thinking is a set of principles and core competencies that is the foundation for person centered planning. Person centered thinking tools provide practical strategies for gathering meaningful information and facilitating conversations about goal setting, problem solving and action planning. This process ensures that focus remains on the perspectives of individuals affected by the issue or outcome. Person centered thinking also provides a framework for building effective relationships and opens the door to greater collaboration and planning in partnership. This in turn, increases the likelihood that the individual receiving services or the employee receiving supervision will be heard, valued and better equipped to attain the quality of life they seek at home and at work.

What is a QDDP?

As described by our friends at the Developmental Disabilities Service Division (DDSD) for the State of Vermont:

A Qualified Developmental Disability Professional (QDDP) may either work for a designated or specialized agency, or may act independently, being hired or contracted by individuals with developmental disabilities and/or their family members.  A QDDP is required, by State and Federal rules, to approve and monitor the Individual Support Agreement and address quality assurance issues of people who receive developmental disabilities services funding. To perform the roles and responsibilities of a QDDP in Vermont, either paid or unpaid, an individual must meet the federal or state definition of a QDDP,  and the additional qualifications for the State of Vermont.

Individuals Employed by a Designated Agency or Specialized Services Agency
Designated Agencies (DA) and Specialized Service Agencies (SSA) are responsible for ensuring their staff meet the appropriate QDDP definition and additional qualifications. As such, these agencies are responsible for relevant training and supervision.  Individuals should contact their DA or SSA to obtain information and requirements for endorsement.

Individuals not employed by a Designated Agency or Specialized Services Agency
The Developmental Disabilities Services Division (DDSD) is responsible for endorsing individuals who are not employed by a DA or SSA and have fulfilled the responsibilities and qualifications of a QDDP.  These individuals may be self-employed, working for an individual with developmental disabilities or family member, or may be an employee or contractor of a provider that is not a DA or SSA.  For information about the endorsement process through DDSD, 
click here.

Qualified Development Disability Professional (QDDP) Protocol

How is GMSS funded?

Like all other agencies similar to us, we are mainly funded throught Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

excerpt from our friends at ddsd.vermont.gov:

Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) - The primary funding source for adults with developmental disabilities is home and community-based services (HCBS) funded under the Global Commitment to Health Medicaid Waiver.  HCBS services are tailored to the individual's specific needs and based on an individualized budget and person-centered plan.

Children and transition age youth with developmental disabilities and the most intensive needs may also be eligibile for HCBS.  Supports for children and their families may include: Service Coordination, Community Supports, Employment Services, Respite and Supervised Living (also known as In-Home Family Supports).  Other services may be available as well.  See HBCS below for more details.

  • Clinical Services include assessment, therapeutic, medication or medical services provided by clinical or medical staff, and are medically necessary clinical services that cannot be accessed through the Medicaid State Plan.

  • Community Supports assist individuals to develop skills and social connections and may include teaching and/or assistance in daily living, support to participate in community activities, and building and sustaining healthy personal, family, and community relationships.

  • Crisis Services are time-limited, intensive, supports provided for individuals who are currently experiencing, or may be expected to experience, a psychological, behavioral, or emotional crisis.

  • Home Supports provide services, supports and supervision for individuals in and around their residences up to twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week (24/7).  Services include the assistance and resources to improve and maintain opportunities and experiences for individuals to be as independent as possible in their home and community.  Home support settings may be in the home of a shared living provider or a home that is staffed by a service provider on a full-time basis.  Supports may also be provided in the person's own home.

  • Respite Support assist family members and home providers/foster families to help support individuals with disabilities who live with them.  Supports are provided on a short-term basis because of the absence of or need for relief of those persons normally providing the care to individuals.

  • Service Coordination assist individuals in planning, developing, choosing, gaining access to, coordinating and monitoring the provision of needed services and supports for a specific individual.

  • Supported Employment assist transition age youth and adults in establishing and achieving work and career goals.

  • Family Managed Respite (FMR) - Respite provides family caregivers a break to support ongoing care for a child or young adult up to age 21 with an identified health or medical health condition or developmental disability.

  • Flexible Family Funding (FFF) - Funding is provided to eligible families of adults and children with developmental disabilities to help pay for any legal good or activity that the family chooses such as respite, assistive technology, home modification, individual and household needs or recreational activities.  These income-based funds, determined by a sliding scale, are used at the discretion of the family.

What is a role of a guardian?

What does a Service Coordinator do?

What can I do to support GMSS?