Supported Community Living

Supported Community Living Photos
ChildServe's Supported Community Living service in Iowa promotes individualized skill-building services and support to children and families in Des Moines, Ames and surrounding communities. Our focus is working with children to develop skills that ultimately lead to independence. We work on outcome-based goals that will improve childrens' living skills.
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SCL is…Supported Activities

SCL staff support skill development by using activities your child enjoys. Staff will support your child’s self-directed learning and will encourage them to accomplish whatever they can on their own.

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Community Opportunities

Exploring, living, and learning in your child’s community is an essential part of the SCL program.

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Living Skills

Improved communication, motor skills, and social skills are only a few of the goals that can be addressed in the SCL experience. Specific goal-setting combines your child’s life skill needs and personal dreams to create opportunities for increased independent living.

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SCL Opportunities

Below are some ideas to help you identify opportunities well-suited for SCL:

Daily Living Skills
  • making a bed
  • cooking a family meal
  • cleaning his or her room
  • learning laundry skills
Individual Advocacy
  • registering to vote
  • obtaining and using a library card
  • understanding his or her rights
Community Participation
  • learning how to ride a bicycle
  • developing a plan for volunteering
  • participating in scouting or other youth/civic groups
  • participating in a Parks and Recreation program
  • learning skills to keep themselves and others safe

Cayden rides an adaptive bike through a local park with the help of his SCL worker

Socialization Skills
  • requesting an activity of one's choice
  • planning a night out with friends
  • participating in after-school activities
  • interacting with peers
Communication Skills
  • developing an effective communication system
  • increasing vocabulary
  • staying on topic
  • carrying on a conversation
  • ordering food at a restaurant

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate in SCL services?

SCL services are offered through ChildServe for individuals age 1 year through 21 or until they transition to adult services. The individual must qualify for the Intellectual Disability (ID) or the Brain Injury (BI) Medicaid Waivers to be enrolled for SCL services. SCL services are based on your child’s needs.

How are referrals made?

Referrals can be made by a number of interested parties including members of the individuals care team parents/guardians, or the participant’s case manager. Referrals can be made to the SCL Manager in Johnston or the Nursing Supervisor in Ames.

How are services authorized and funded?

SCL services are funded through the ID or BI Waivers. There is no fee to the individual. The individual/parent or guardian may be expected to pay for activity related fees. Services are authorized by the individual’s case managers. The team will determine how many hours of SCL will be authorized on a monthly basis based on the individual’s identified goals. The family will receive a Notice of Decision from their child’s case manager stating how many hours of SCL are authorized each month.

Where are services provided?

Supported Community Living opportunities are available in the city of Des Moines,  Ames, Iowa City and communities throughout Iowa. Contact us for more locations. SCL services take place in the child’s community or home. This is done to make sure new skills develop in places where they will likely be used again, and so your child will be confident and as independent as possible in their home environment. SCL is designed to help your child participate and enjoy activities they can do right in their own neighborhood and local community.

When are services provided?

Services are provided at times that are appropriate to be able to focus on the individual’s goals. For example, if the goal is to work on getting dressed, services would be scheduled at times that were appropriate for this activity such as early morning or bedtime. Services can be provided seven days/week, typically between the hours of 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. In order for your child to attain the skills identified in the care plan a minimum of two appointments a week for 2-4 hours per appointment is recommended.

I’m interested in enrolling - what happens next?

Once it has been determined your child is eligible for SCL and you are interested in pursuing this option through ChildServe, you can contact your case manager. Either you or your child’s case manager can contact ChildServe to begin the enrollment process. A meeting will be scheduled to complete an assessment, develop care plans, and goals for your child. We will discuss a potential schedule and preferences for staff.

Child specific training will be provided to all staff assigned to work with your child. Training will be provided by the individual’s family, the supervisor, and/or other staff who are familiar and have been trained on the individual’s plan of care.


Barb Williams


Service Manager

Phone Icon Gaye Johnson 515-727-1476 Case Management