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 quality 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 the Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument process as follows:
  1. For a child birth through age 2 having one developmental delay or an established risk.
  2. For children ages 3 through 5, it means having two developmental delays or an established risk.
  3. For individuals ages 6 through 15, it means having a developmental disability that is severe and chronic and results in substantial functional limitations as determined by the Children's Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument or the Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument for an individual 16 and older.

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 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/Children’s Program Director 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 FRS.  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?
 Family is eligible for services as determined through the OEDI process.  County FSS program has funds available.  If no funds are available at the time of the approved request, the request will be placed on the waiting list in the encumbered funds account and when monies become available, the request will be honored.  Families have utilized and identified other funding sources available to pay for services that are requested through the Family Support Services Program.  Requested items/services must be addressed in the individual 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.  In order for the FSS funds to be available for the entire year, an eligible family shall not exceed the recommended maximum allocation per family as recommended by the Board’s Ethics Council. A family with more than one family member may receive an additional allocation. In extraordinary circumstances a family may receive an additional FSS allocation.  FSS should be considered the payer of last resort.  Families are to first utilize and identify other funding sources that may be available to them to pay for supports they request through the FSS program.  The initial FSS Needs Form allows the family to provide information regarding income verification for the family’s taxable income level, which is necessary in order to determine the percentage of co-payment costs for each reimbursable FSS service to be paid by the eligible family. Full or partial payment is based on a sliding scale according to the family's taxable income. The percentage of each reimbursable FSS request for which the eligible family willpay will be determined according to the following schedule:

Taxable Income Co-Pay

$27,258 or less 0%
$27,259 to $37,759 10%
$37,760 to $48,260 30%
$48,261 to $62,261 50%
$62,262 to $79,679 75%
$79,763 and over 100%

For more information about Family Support Services program, or if you know anyone that can benefit from these services, you can contact the Guernsey County Board of DD, 60770 Southgate Road, Byesville, Ohio 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.