Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Program (DESE)
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Program and the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) have partnered to create a program of wraparound services for students ages 6-21. The DESE Program facilitates transitions from school life to a more independent life within the community for students receiving publicly funded special education services who also meet DDS eligibility criteria for services. The primary goal is to help prevent a more restrictive educational or out-of-home residential placement. This is done by creating an individualized plan of supports for the individual that promotes skill building, independence, and social integration across multiple settings including their home, school, and community. Increasing the family’s capacity makes it more likely that the individual will be able to remain at home.
Families must play an active role in the program. In order to help develop these capacities the program requires that all participants receive approximately three to six hours a week of behavioral/skills training services in-home or in the community. This may include working on increasing the child’s ability to carry out activities of daily living (ADL), enhancing the child’s ability to communicate, and/or increasing positive behaviors through skills development.