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  • Writer's pictureCurtis Stanley

Supporting Adult Independence in HCBS

The transition to adulthood is a huge step for everyone. Full of changes and new responsibilities, success and fulfillment are often greatly assisted by guidance and mentorship.


Today, we're exploring some of the challenges and opportunities of this important stage of life for providers and their clients.


Understanding the Challenges

1. Navigating Independence and Autonomy

As any young adult moves from structured environments to more independent living, learning to manage their own personal needs is a huge step. While it’s often challenging for most everyone at some point, individuals with disabilities may find it more daunting, especially if there are healthcare needs or have limited decision-making skills.

2. Employment and Vocational Training

Finding meaningful employment and vocational opportunities is another significant hurdle. Many individuals with disabilities struggle to access employment that matches their abilities and interests, often due to societal prejudices and a lack of appropriate job training programs.

3. Social Integration and Relationships

Developing and maintaining social relationships is an important part of adulthood. While we all have challenges with this, it can be more difficult for individuals with disabilities. Many may face barriers in forming peer relationships, accessing community activities, or navigating romantic relationships.

4. Legal and Financial Responsibilities

Adulthood comes a range of legal and financial responsibilities. Understanding and managing these aspects can be confusing and frustrating. For those with disabilities, it can potentially be overwhelming.

Harnessing Opportunities

1. Personalized Support Plans

HCBS programs can provide personalized support plans tailored to the individual’s needs, strengths, and goals. This approach fosters confidence and can make embracing independence feel more rewarding and less challenging.

2. Vocational and Educational Programs

Access to tailored vocational training and educational programs can open employment opportunities. These programs should focus on developing both job-specific skills and soft skills like communication and teamwork.

3. Community Engagement

Encouraging active participation in community activities can enhance social integration. This includes facilitating access to clubs, recreational activities, and volunteer opportunities.

4. Advocacy and Self-Advocacy Training

Teaching and practicing communication and self-advocacy skills empowers individuals with disabilities to express their needs and make informed decisions. Similarly, advocating on behalf of clients can help create more inclusive policies and environments.

The Role of Guidance in HCBS

1. Facilitating Independence 

Guides should focus on promoting autonomy by supporting individuals in making their own decisions, managing their daily tasks, and understanding their rights.

2. Building a Supportive Network 

It is crucial to help individuals with disabilities build a network of support, including family, friends, and professional services.

3. Navigating Systems

Guides can assist in navigating complex healthcare, legal, and social systems, ensuring that individuals receive the benefits and services they are entitled to.

4. Continuous Assessment and Adjustment 

Regular assessments and adjustments to support plans are necessary to respond to the changing needs and aspirations of individuals with disabilities.


The transition to adulthood is challenging, but with guidance and support of DSPs and providers, advocating for inclusive policies, and fostering supportive community environments, the transition can be easier and more fulfilling for clients and their loved-ones.

Have a wonderful evening and a great week!

Your Cura Team

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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