Residential Habilitation Programs
The Arc Tampa Bay is committed to supporting the rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live in residential settings as valued members of their communities. The Arc Tampa Bay provides standard and behavior focus residential habilitation services. All group homes offer nursing supports, dietician services, and transportation assistance.
Eighteen (18) agency operated group homes and one (1) apartment complex are located throughout the northern portion of Pinellas County. Homes are beautifully designed, well maintained, with warm and inviting landscaping suited to their neighborhoods. Residents are true members of their communities and enjoy leisure activities in their neighborhoods. Many have established relationships and connections with neighbors and local shop owners and vendors.
Each group home is staffed with direct support professionals. Home managers provide day-to-day supervision. Residential directors and Associate Executive Directors provide additional assistance and knowledge based on their areas of expertise.
In addition to standard or typical residential habilitation services, The Arc Tampa Bay operates a multitude of specialized housing options in order to maximize individualized supports and preferences and meet the needs of the individuals served in our homes:
As a provider of residential services since 1975, many individuals served by the agency have aged along with us. Individuals in these homes are faced with complex physical and health-related issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, diabetes, decreased mobility, seizure disorder, etc. We firmly support the right of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to age in place in a familiar environment with staff members knowledgeable about them and the care they need.
Staff members at these homes have been trained in medical procedures such as insulin monitoring, tube feeding, seizure protocols, wheelchair transfer to include Hoyer lift, in addition to standard trainings in first aid, CPR, Medication Administration and Zero Tolerance. Homes are monitored for any barriers to mobility and potential safety hazards. Specialized nursing supports focus on the particular needs of aging individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Arc Tampa Bay operates multiple group homes in the behavior support residential program. These homes provide support and guidance to individuals who, in addition to their intellectual or developmental disability, have also been diagnosed with an accompanying mental health or behavioral disorder, such as mood disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, and schizophrenia to name a few. Direct support professionals are trained to provide individualized behavioral interventions and use the principles of applied behavior analysis to produce socially significant behavior change by increasing desired behaviors using reinforcement.
Staff members are trained on implementing appropriate behavioral interventions for each individual who has a behavior support plan. Training is provided by board certified behavior analysts. Behavior analysts ensure that direct support professionals are competent to execute the individual behavior plans. They ensure staff deliver reinforcement according to schedule and track the required data. Behavior analysts will make appropriate changes to the behavior plans based on input from the direct support professionals and the individual’s achievement of goals.
In addition to serving individuals with intellectual disabilities who are also diagnosed with a mental health or behavior disorder, several of the behavior focus group homes are further specialized according to more complex diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Prader-Willi Syndrome:
In order to meet the sensory needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), The Arc Tampa Bay developed a home specifically designed in consultation with an occupational therapist. Sensory stimulation activities use equipment such as swings, weighted vests, stationary bicycles, a swimming pool, video games, etc. based on each individual’s preferences. Individualized behavior support plans assist each resident to learn appropriate behaviors and reduce inappropriate, maladaptive behaviors that may cause harm or interfere with learning.
Individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) experience chronic feelings of insatiable hunger and a slowed metabolism that can lead to excessive eating and life-threatening obesity. Environmental modifications that limit the individuals’ access to food must often be implemented to ensure their health and safety.
The Arc Tampa Bay operates two group homes for people with PWS. Due to the restrictive nature of adaptations to the homes in order to limit food access, a licensed dietician and board certified behavior analysts must provide oversight. Individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome who reside in these specialized homes also receive routine medical evaluations from Dr. Daniel Driscoll, an expert in the field from the University of Florida. Dr. Driscoll is considered one of the world’s leading researchers and physicians for Prader-Willi and was recently inducted into the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars. Through stellar medical guidance from Dr. Driscoll, all residents with PWS have achieved significant weight loss and ongoing support to ensure continuation of healthy habits.
The Arc Tampa Bay operates a group home for children (up to age 18) who are in need of intensive staff supervision due to need for behavioral interventions. Children residing at the home need intensive supports due to behaviors such as elopement, physical aggression, self-injurious behavior and property destructive. With oversight from a certified behavior analyst, staff provide behavioral interventions that increase appropriate behaviors as alternatives to the maladaptive behaviors. Focus of the program is to ensure school readiness and transition to a less intensive residential setting. Additional therapeutic services supplement activities to improve delays in communication and socialization. The home is located on a large residential lot with an outdoor swimming pool, offering many recreational opportunities. The Arc Tampa Bay works closely with Pinellas County Schools to ensure school personnel are kept up to date regarding each child’s needs and progress.