Day Habilitation

Increasing Independence

ChildServe‘s Day Habilitation program helps young adults with special healthcare needs transition into adulthood. Through individual goals and activities, young adults gain and retain skills they need for greater independence and community integration.

Why choose ChildServe?

Specially Trained

ChildServe’s specially trained caregivers have education and experience in serving children with special healthcare needs.

Customized Support
ChildServe’s Day Habilitation program can be customized to support a wide variety of goals and needs.
Our Day Habilitation program is CARF-accreditedCARF accredited” means that the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities recognizes ChildServe as an organization that meets rigorous guidelines for service and quality and conforms to nationally and internationally recognized standards., which means we meet and exceed international standards for helping children and young adults build skills to prepare for life.

Who We Serve

ChildServe’s Day Habilitation program partners with teens and young adults (16-25 years old) who are on the Medicaid Intellectual Disability (ID) Waiver.

Our Approach

We Know Teens & Young Adults

Our entire organization is designed around kids! ChildServe knows that children and teens have needs that are different from adults with similar conditions. Child-specific training will be provided to all staff assigned to work with your child. Nursing oversight and support is available on-site or by phone. Our innovative approach and atmosphere are designed to make kids feel comfortable, safe, and inspired.

Customized Care

Young adults participate in activities suited to their needs, abilities, and goals. The Day Habilitation program has a staffing ratio of 1 staff for every 3 individuals. Our team will discuss service options with the family, assess each child’s need, identify appropriate goals, and determine frequency of sessions. 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.

Accomplishing Goals

Many young adults work toward goals like improving self-care, increasing mobility, and developing gross and fine motor skills. Other areas of focus include functional skill development, sensory integration, and social/emotional and cognitive development. ChildServe’s skilled caregivers also support young adults in increasing self-advocacy or language and communication skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate in Day Habilitation services?

To be enrolled in this service, young adults must be between 16 and 25 years old and qualify for the Intellectual Disability Waiver (ID). Individuals typically have an identified need for transition support from child to adult services. Goals must be identified and there must be a willingness on the young adults part to work on goals. Community participation is an important part of the Day Habilitation service. Young adults willing to work on goals in an integrated community setting are a good fit.

How are referrals made?

Referrals can be made by members of the individual’s care team, parents/guardians, or the participant’s case manager. Call the location-specific numbers below to make a referral:


  • Ames:  515-817-2231
  • Johnston: 515-727-8750
How are services authorized and funded?

Day Habilitation services are funded through the ID Waiver. There is no fee to the participant. Services are authorized by the participant’s case managers. Typically there is a care team meeting to discuss service options, assess need, identify goals, and determine the frequency of services to be provided. A service authorization is provided to ChildServe and the family, stating how many units of service is authorized each month.

Where and when are services provided?

Day Habilitation services are offered as follows:

  • ChildServe – Johnston:  9 a.m. – 3 p.m. year round
  • Designated location in Ames: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. during the summer
  • Designated location in Johnston: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. during the summer and spring/winter breaks

Individuals may choose full day options with a consistent schedule throughout the session.

I'm interested in enrolling - what happens next?

Once you have determined you are eligible for Day Habilitation services and 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.

If Day Habilitation is a good fit, time will be scheduled to tour the space, complete an assessment, develop care plans and goals and create a schedule of services for your young adult. Goals, objectives and identified support services will be established based on each individual’s needs and preferences.

How will I learn about my child’s activities at Day Habilitation?
Parents/guardians will be provided with daily documentation on goals/objectives and other supports including the following:


  • Date, time, and location of services provided
  • Daily account of goals/objectives and supports provided
  • Daily summary/narrative that specifically highlights staff interactions, participant’s responses, progress on goals, and any unusual occurrences
  • Documentation of all medications administered and/or specific treatments provided
How does ChildServe monitor my child’s growth?
Once enrolled in the program and receiving services, you can expect the following on-going monitoring activity:


  • The individual’s supervisor will review all documentation on a weekly basis.
  • The case manager provides ongoing monitoring and authorization of services.
  • ChildServe will communicate with case managers and families at a minimum on a quarterly basis to discuss the individual’s progress.
  • ChildServe will participate in the annual care team meetings at the time waiver services are reauthorized for the new waiver year.
How does the ChildServe work toward non-discrimination?
It is the policy of this CNP provider not to discriminate on the basis on race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code section 216.7 and 216.9. If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by this CNF Provider, please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th St., Des Moines, IA  40319-1004; phone number 515-281-4121, 800-457-4416; web site:

View our Annual Outcomes

ChildServe regularly gathers child and family satisfaction feedback, quality reports and census data to monitor services and continuously improve the care and services we provide.

Contact Us!

ChildServe – Johnston
5406 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA 50131
ChildServe – Ames
1915 Philadelphia Street, Ames, IA 50010

ChildServe Center - Johnston

ChildServe Center - Ames


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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