OCSS's Residential Support Service Department supports adults with autism in community homes which use a variety of staff to individual ratios dependent on the individual's abilities, needs and desires or funding. OCSS adult residential supports services program provides housing in Western Maryland, for adults (21 years or older) with autism.
The department is managed by the Director of Residential Supports. The Director oversees a team of adult home Residential Program Managers who direct the programmatic components of each individual's plan of care and are responsible for the oversight of the day-to-day operations of each home.
Generally anywhere from two or four individuals live in each home. Awake overnight staff stays overnight in most adult homes. Counselors also teach skills in housekeeping, personal hygiene, clothing care, shopping, money management, communication, telephone use, and leisure activities. All residents have access to vocational, recreation, and rehabilitation programs as designed by their Individual Plans ("IPs"). For those individuals who have paid employment, the State of Maryland expects that a portion of those wages be designated as service fees for housing, supplies, and board based upon his/her ability to pay.
Acquisition of independence in daily living skills and community integration are emphasized and specific curricula and training programs are developed to the desired outcomes of the individuals. Individuals with behavioral needs are treated by a licensed psychologist. Behavior plans emphasize the use of positive reinforcement; no aversive consequences or painful stimuli are permitted.
The Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene funds the adult program. Local governments, federal programs, private foundations, and donations provide additional funding support
Communication is critical to smooth operation of all OCSS support departments. Residential Coordinators are required to contact family members or appointees at least one time per month and provide an update pursuant to Family Contact Documentation Policy and Procedures. Of course, families may communicate with their loved ones at any time; however, late calls are discouraged if they will impact the rest of housemates.