What is Supports Coordination?  

Think of Supports Coordination as the help button or the “Google” to the Intellectual Disabilities/Autism Service System. Our job is to provide answers and guidance to all questions you may have in order to navigate your way through this complex system. Supports Coordinators assist in determining your needs and developing a plan to implement the services and supports based on those needs. A large part of the Supports Coordinators job is to advocate for you-assisting in getting the community resources and services needed  to live your best Everyday Life.  

When should I get a Supports Coordinator? 

If you or a family member is diagnosed with Intellectual Disability or Autism it’s never too early.  We can work with the individual from birth to death.  In many cases the earlier you get started the more prepared you will be when it comes to transition from school age services to adult services.  If you have questions about getting a Supports Coordinator contact us 484-791-3958 and we will give you guidance on the process. 

What do I need to get started? 

Once you have or if you have a diagnosis of Intellectual Disability/Autism you must first register with the county administrative entity in which you live.  



Once determined eligible by the county you will have the opportunity to choose People First Supports Coordination as your Supports Coordination Organization. A Supports Coordinator will be assigned to work with you to determine what needs you have and discuss next steps including development of your Individual Support Plan(ISP) and Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services(PUNS). 

What is an Individual Support Plan (ISP)

An Individual Support plan meeting begins conversation about what people need in order to be successful and self-determined throughout their lives. It helps people think about how their choices, decisions and experiences now can help shape the future. The focus is to develop a vision for a good life and Identify how to find or develop supports. The plan is written uniquely for each person to include but not limited to their general health and specifics about how to support or assist the person.  

What is Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS)? 

The PUNS form is completed to inform your county that you are in need of help and determines the level of urgency your need is.The county and state use the PUNS as one of the tools to make  decisions on who will get funding to get supports in place.  The PUNS is updated by you Supports Coordinator. 

Administrative Entities (AEs)/County MH/IDD Programs and the Office of Developmental Programs  (ODP) of the number of people waiting for services and to plan for their needs. The PUNS also indicates the urgency of those needs. The PUNS is an important tool used to assist AEs/counties in developing the county plan and annual budget that is submitted to ODP. Budgets are developed two years in advance of the current year. 

What is a waiver? 

Home and community-based services are also known as waiver-funded services or waiver programs. The name waiver comes from the fact that the federal government “waives” medical assistance rules for institutional care in order for Pennsylvania to use the funds for HCBS. HCBS provides for supports and services beyond those covered by the Medical Assistance (also referred to as Medicaid) program that enables a person to remain in a community setting rather than being admitted to a Long Term Care Facility.  

There are three waivers administered by the Intellectual Disability System (ID): The Person/Family Directed Support Waiver (PFD/S); The Community Living Waiver (CLW) and the Consolidated Waiver (CW). These waivers are administered to the Office of Developmental Programs in Pennsylvania and then to counties individually. 

Who decides who gets waivers/funding?  

The county you are registered with will be granted waiver slots and they will decide who will be given waivers based on the needs level of the people in their county.  Who reports the needs?  Your Supports Coordinator will be by telling an individual’s story and documenting the needs in the Individual Supports Plan, Service Notes, Monitoring Notes and the Prioritization of Needs for Services (PUNS). 

If you woul like more information about the Home and Community Based System please follow the link below to some resources

ODP Information