Press Release

Becoming START Certified

The START program model was established in 1988 by Dr. Joan B. Beasley and her team to provide community-based crisis intervention for individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities (IDD) and mental health needs. START is a comprehensive model of service supports that optimizes independence, treatment and community living. The model is person-centered, solutions-focused approach that employs positive psychology and other evidence-based practices.

In November 2020, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) announced its plans to implement a START pilot in the Central Region. The pilot aims to provide the development and implementation of a community based tertiary care crisis intervention for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and behavioral health care needs. Training and technical support to be provided by the Center for START Services.

In January 2021, The Coordinating Center was selected by the DDA to participate in the 12-month pilot. The Center has three Supports Planners who are currently participating in six hours of START training per week with The Center for START Services. “We are delighted to be a part of this innovative pilot as there is a significant need for cross systems crisis prevention and intervention planning. Participation in START will enable The Center to better serve our constituents with IDD and behavioral health care needs,” said Dr. Pamula Mills, Director, Coordination of Community Services (CCS) at The Center.