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Institute on Disabilities at Temple University


Person-Driven Services

Person-Driven Services Project Summary

On July 1, 2013, the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University in collaboration with Disability Rights Network (DRN), Values into Action-PA, Mental Health Association of SE Pennsylvania, PA Health Law Project, Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care, PA Mental Health Consumers Association and the Human Services Research Institute began work on the Developmental Disabilities Council funded Person-Driven Services Project. The four year project includes a demonstration project, research and advocacy.

Demonstration Project: Supports Brokering

We will conduct a cross-disability demonstration in which 40-50 people in southeastern and northeastern PA will have the opportunity to direct their own services with the assistance of a Support Broker/Recovery Coach. Project participants will select a Supports Broker/Recovery Coach to assist them with planning, budgeting and arranging formal and informal services and supports. The project will support the development of a "Supports Brokerage" and network for Supports Brokers/Recovery Coaches.

The Institute is currently taking applications for project participants:

For more information on the Supports Brokerage, visit Values Into Action-PA's website:


The Institute on Disabilities will take a two-fold approach to building an evidence-base for the expansion of person-driven services in PA. First, the Institute will conduct a review of studies of Cash and Counseling models and brokering practices. Second, the demonstration project will be evaluated, looking at quality of life, met/unmet needs, satisfaction and cost effectiveness. This research will inform the demonstration project and be used in systems advocacy efforts as we work toward person-driven services.

Sustainable Self-Directed Care in Pennsylvania's Behavioral Health System
Sustainable Self-Directed Care, accessible text version
Sustainable Self-Directed Care, PDF version


We will engage in advocacy efforts at multiple levels. The primary policy targeted in these efforts will be the expansion of Cash and Counseling models which offer the greatest amount of authority and control. The project will work on the grassroots level, local community, administrative and legislative levels. We will also be working toward raising awareness and support for person-driven services.

For more information on our advocacy work, visit DRN's webpage:

Grant Objectives

  1. Build capacity for Supports Brokering/Recovery Coaching in PA.
  2. Demonstrate person-driven service models are cost-effective and produce both greater quality of life outcomes and satisfaction with services.
  3. Build evidence-base for cost effectiveness and improved outcomes of person-driven services.
  4. Build support among PA disability service systems, policy makers and legislators for the personal and financial benefits of people with disabilities having control over their own services and supports, in particular, Cash and Counseling models.
  5. Design and execute communications strategies to build timely public support and maintain strategic alliances with a broad range of stakeholders for person driven services.
  6. Assess and adjust project activities to effectively promote systems change.


For more information contact Kristin Ahrens 215-204-9543 or

This project is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.

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