Family Support Services


A program of supports for families, promoting the unity of the family by assisting it to meet the special needs of the individual with developmental disabilities to remain with their families AT HOME.


What is Family Support Services (FSS)?

The Family Support Services (FSS) program provides assistance and financial support to families with members who have developmental disabilities allowing them to live at home by enhancing the uality of life for the entire family by providing a variety of services and supports needed to enable them to participate in the life of their communities to the degree they choose, and experience enduring relationships with brothers, sisters, other family members and friends committed to their welfare. It also assists the person toward self-sufficiency and prevents or reduces inappropriate placement, including institutionalization.

Who can receive family support services?

Family Support Services shall be considered a component of the individual planning process, and the services/items included in the Individual Service Plan (ISP) or the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) and must be related to the eligible individual's documented delay or developmental disability.


The family must be a resident of Guernsey County and the individual is determined eligible through an evaluation/assessment process, as follows:

  • ​For children, birth through age 3, having at least one developmental delay determined by the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development or an established risk
  • For children ages 3 through 5, it means having two developmental delays or an established risk
  • For children ages 6 through 9, individual's must complete a Functional Assessment
  • For individuals ages 10 and up, a Level of Care assessment is completed; this means having a developmental disability that is severe and chronic and results in substantial functional limitations.


How is an FSS request processed?

The family is informed about Family Support Services (FSS) during intake, if applicable. At the initial or annual ISP/IFSP meeting, FSS Guidelines are discussed and the family determines their needs for FSS for the next year OR the family contacts the SSA/EI Specialist assists the family in completing the necessary paperwork. Within seven days after receiving the request, the county board sends a confirmation response to the family. The County Board has forty-five days, after receiving an invoice, to process reimbursement payment. Family Support Services is ALWAYS the payer of last resort.

What determines whether requests are funded?

The family is informed about Family Support Services (FSS) during intake, if applicable. At the initial or annual ISP/IFSP meeting, FSS Guidelines are discussed and the family determines their needs for FSS for the next year OR the family contacts the SSA/EI Specialist with a FSS need and a special team meeting is held to address the FSS program in the ISP/IFSP. Upon completion of the need request, it is given to the SSA Director/Early Childhood Manager for approval. Within seven days, the family will be issued a statement to the effect that it is either determined eligible or ineligible to receive FSS.


The SSA/Developmental Specialist assists the family in completing the necessary paperwork. Within seven days after receiving the request, the county board sends a confirmation response to the family. The County Board has 45 days after receiving an invoice to process reimbursement payment.

  • County FSS program has funds available. If no funds are available at the time of the approved request, the request will be placed on a waiting list in the encumbered funds account and when monies become available, the request will be honored.
  • If an individual is on a Medicaid Waiver, FSS will only be able to pay for items and services that are not already offered through their Medicaid Waiver.
  • Requested items/services must be addressed in the individual service plan and be related to the eligible individual's documented delay or developmental disability.

How much will FSS cost my family?

The maximum annual reimbursement to each family shall be determined through a limited amount of FSS funds distributed from the Ohio Department of DD through the Guernsey County Board of DD. A family with more than one family member may receive an additional allocation. In extraordinary circumstances a family may receive an additional FSS allocation.




For more information about Family Support Services, or if you know anyone that can benefit from these services, you can contact the Guernsey County Board of DD, 60770 Southgate Road, Byesville OH 43723 or by calling (740)439-4451. The Family Support Services Program helps lessen the financial burden to families and enables individuals with developmental disabilities to remain with their families at home, and experience enduring relationships with their family and friends.