Group Day Services

In order to provide our clients with the focused attention necessary for success, our Group Day Services are provided in ratios no larger than one-to-seven.

Through peer interactions, community integration, career planning and enhancement of social networks, we offer opportunities for our clients, including:

  • General skill-building
  • Support for the acquisition or retention of self-help skills
  • Socialization
  • Employment Exploration
  • Adaptive skills
  • Health and safety awareness

Group Day Services Eligibility

Individuals seeking our Group Day Services should be:

  • 18-54 years in age
  • Funded by one of the three DD waivers, or be able to pay privately for services
  • Able to participate in scheduled activities with no more than average physical assistance – as determined by peers with similar disabilities
  • Be able to refrain from negative behavior and other personal issues so severe that it would cause bodily harm to other clientele, volunteers, Branches staff, and the public at large
  • Stable enough that medical and/or healthcare needs can be managed by Branches staff, who are not licensed medical professionals

Community Engagement Services

Our Community Engagement Services were initiated to provide our clients meaningful and greater access to, and participation within, their local communities.

Utilizing a wide variety of opportunities within the community to facilitate and build relationships and natural supports, our activities are provided in ratios no larger than one-to-three. Our goal is to facilitate an individual’s development of self, social environmental awareness, problem solving, interdependence and integration into their community.

Community Engagement Activities may include:

  • Unpaid work experiences/volunteer opportunities
  • Post-Secondary Transition Education
  • Cultural activities or special events
  • Field trips to community facilities such as libraries, gyms or parks
  • Participation in personal hobbies and leisure activities
  • Participation in health and recreational activities
  • And many more

Community Engagement Services Eligibility

Individuals seeking our Community Engagement Services should be:

  • 18+ years in age
  • funded by one of the three DD waivers, or be able to pay privately for services
  • Able to participate in scheduled activities with no more than average physical assistance – as determined by peers with similar disabilities
  • Be able to refrain from negative behavior so severe that it would cause bodily harm to other clientele, volunteers, Branches staff, and the public at large
  • Stable enough that medical and/or healthcare needs can be managed by Branches staff, who are not licensed medical professionals

I choose to work for Branches because I have a passion for helping people. I feel everyone deserves to live their dream and I want to strive to make that happen for [our clients].

Morgan McCoy, Life Coach

Not in the traditional sense. For billing purposes, the state requires our services fit into a category so they recognize Branches of Life as a Center based and Non-Center based Day Services program, but that’s only because there’s not a category for us. We are a job training, career prep and life support service for people with disabilities.

No. Our jobs are to help people meet goals that they set for themselves. Even though we offer center-based services Monday through Friday, from 8-3:45pm, we are not merely caretakers.

Pre-vocational programs operate under the assumption that people need lots of practice before they can work, and have to be able to meet certain criteria before they are even able to try. We believe that some people want to work and some don’t, and we don’t believe in minimum requirements – so no, we are not a pre-vocational program.

There will be learning, undoubtedly, but we are not a school. Our goal is to offer people the opportunity to put into practice the plans they have for themselves, to create a good life – by their standard. That probably includes learning but it’s all self-directed.

Our concept is so brand-new that state licensing doesn’t even have a category for it. If you check out our bio section, you can see that we have substantial amounts of education and experience working with people who have significant intellectual disabilities, moderate intellectual disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, and autism. We have a clear vision and the knowledge of how to make something amazing happen. Come try it with us!

Our days are client-directed, based on what their team decides upon during the person-centered planning process. We begin our day with a morning meeting where we each have the opportunity to check in with each other, address any burning questions or concerns, and make decisions about the days schedule. Our schedule includes: stretching/yoga to combat stress and encourage movement for tight muscles; individual or small group trips out for errand running or activities; volunteering in the community; exploring questions or concepts; literacy instruction; communication instruction; opportunities to become more independent; social media, art and projects; skill building; help with behavioral difficulties; screening Youtube videos; Pinterest recipe contests; and so many more.

There are so many things that we might do in a day that it’s hard to think of them all. Email us if you have cool suggestions, or volunteer if you’d like to come hang out & show us how to do something cool.

Yes! We feel like it is not our obligation (or yours, as parents / caregivers) to dash someone’s dreams on the hard rocks of reality. We realize that all people have limitations. We realize that some things feel impossible.

We also realize that our personal, most ridiculous dreams are special and it feels really good to have the people that love you standing beside you, trying to help you get there. If we fail at something, let something else be the gatekeeper — be that a governing body, or an audition that we don’t get, or money that isn’t raised — not the people that care the most for us.

If we fail at helping people accomplish their biggest dreams, we’re betting that we’re still going to make amazing progress toward it. What’s the harm in that?

We believe that all people communicate all the time. It’s our job to figure out what form that communication is taking, what the person is saying with their communication, and then work toward helping the person communicate in ways that everyone understands, while also helping families and caregivers learn what their current communication is saying.

Sometimes it takes time. Fortunately, we have about 60 days from the time that a person joins us at Branches to spend time with them and figure out what they’re communicating and how before a person-centered plan happens.

That’s okay! We can figure it out together. As members of their team, your perspective matters, too. We respect your relationship and want to join their team as well. Together, we can make sure that we’re doing our best.

Branches believes that all people can work, and if someone wants to work we’re going to do our best to help them get there. We specialize in Discovery, Customized Employment, & Workplace Assistance. For more information on our Employment Services, click here.

We believe that people can and should do whatever makes them happy and whatever aligns with their particular interests or skill-set. For some folks, this could mean cleaning but it doesn’t have to. We are very creative people and we have a lot of faith in the magic that happens when people are allowed to follow their dreams.

A ton. We wish we could say it was easy but amazing lives are never easy. We understand that everyone needs to run their own lives though and caregiving is a tough job. It’s our hope that we can help build a team of people around your person with a disability, to take some of the weight off your shoulders. If everyone contributes just a little bit, then one person doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting. And we’re super strong, so don’t worry!

State-recognized official identification cards are important things, and most adults have them. They are typically needed for transactions and they have identifying information on them, just in case.

If you feel nervous about the process, visit the DMV website and read about the requirements before going.

  • Fill out as much of the paperwork in advance, or stop by alone and pick up the paperwork if your person who has a disability dislikes waiting at DMV as much as I do.
  • The fee is $10, and $10 to replace the ID card. The replacement part can be done online.

We believe that people can’t learn responsibility and money management without practice. We also think that people deserve to be able to control their money, even if it’s just a bit.

We’re happy to work with your team to help figure out how much money is enough and how it gets there.

By our clients using their own debit cards tied to their own bank accounts, it allows them freedom in purchasing things that they want to purchase without significant advanced warning. It also allows valuable lessons in budgeting and saving.

Most banks have online access available. As their caregiver, this allows you to keep track of their spending during their time at Branches of Life. It also helps us out by not having to hold onto other people’s money.

We understand if you’re worried about responsibility levels. Replacement cards range from $0 to $5, depending on the bank that is used. We’re happy to answer any specific questions if you contact us.

We’re a service for folks that aren’t able to make a life for themselves without a lot of support, whether that’s staying home alone or working without help.

We currently offer Customized Employment Services & Job Coaching but if your person is in a spot where they aren’t able to find a job right now, and have things that they want to do but can’t do it alone, then yes, come to Branches. Even after they find a job, they’re still welcome to come when not working.

Yes! We’d love to work with your person and their team, because we’re creative and we’re problem solvers, and great things can happen. We don’t say no. We say, ‘Why not?”

Absolutely. Accessibility is always one of our priorities. Talk to us specifically so we can make sure that we can have the supports in place for this to happen. You might need to be patient with us, but we believe in access for all people and we will work hard to make that happen.

No big deal. If you provide the supplies, we can store them at Branches. It’s all about dignity and respect — we might all be in the position to need that kind of help one day.

Medical issues are okay with us too, as long as the type of medical issue doesn’t require registered nursing. We’re certified to administer medicine and we’re comfortable with colostomy bags and g-tubes. If there are more intense needs, you’ll need to provide nursing staff. We will not have a nurse on staff.

We find that people don’t have a lot to fight about when they are doing what they want to be doing with their lives. Since we’re committed to remaining a restraint-free environment, we’re concerned with safety and take it seriously. Let’s talk about specifics, and maybe we can come up with a plan that offers the type of support necessary to help make your person successful while still keeping everyone safe at Branches. If we can’t, we’ll do our best to refer you to a service that might be able to help.

Safety is a huge priority of ours, along with the quality of our services. It is our obligation to assess each situation as it arises to determine how that fits with the needs of everyone that we’re working with at Branches. We do our best to make sure that we are a safe, supportive place to be, at all times.

With anything new and untried, it’s normal to be skeptical and we don’t mind that. Skepticism however, is different than combative negativity. If you feel confident all people are equal and deserve an equal shot at life, then we’re going to be a good fit.

We accept Building Independence Waiver, Family and Individual Supports Waiver, Community Living Waiver and private prepay at this time.

For people with Building Independence Waiver, Family and Individual Supports Waiver, Community Living Waiver, there are allowable units per year. Your CSB case manager will know more.

For individuals paying privately, the state rate ranges from $26 to $114 per day, depending on the level of support that your person needs and the length of time of desired participation in programming. While we don’t accept people on an hour-to-hour basis, we’re willing to talk to you about partial week attendance. For more specific information, contact us directly.

We take Building Independence Waiver, Family and Individual Supports Waiver and Community Living Waiver.

If you live in Chesterfield County and your person has an intellectual disability, contact the CSB and request case management services and more information about the ID waiver. You can find more info here or call their Intake Office at (804) 748-1227.

If you live in Colonial Heights and your person has an intellectual disability, contact the District 19 CSB and request case management services and more information about the ID waiver here or call their Intake Office at (804) 862-8002 ext. 3064

Need more resources? Find local Richmond and other in-state help here.

Community Coaching

Community Coaching is a short-term, goal oriented service that pairs with our Consulting Services by providing a one-to-one interaction between a coach and an individual who wants to develop more confidence and competence in fully-inclusive settings.

By using non-judgmental support and allowing the individual doing the hard work to set the pace, we allow them to feel safer, happier and more independent when out in the world.

All of our Life Coaches are highly trained in implementation and support strategies and receive frequent opportunities for continued staff development.

Community Coaching Eligibility

Individuals seeking our Community Coaching Services should be:

  • 18+ years in age
  • funded by one of the three DD waivers, or be able to pay privately for services
  • Transition from vehicles to unfamiliar locations
  • Parking lot safety
  • Maintaining socially appropriate physical space
  • Managing voice volume in quiet locations
  • Socially acceptable rules of engagement for talking to strangers
  • Tolerance for new, unfamiliar environments
  • Understanding purchases (budgeting, needing money, check out procedures)
  • Increasing confidence when interacting with community members
  • Using a cellphone
  • Using alternate communication methods (AAC) to interact with community members
  • Driving a power wheelchair
  • Navigating a crowd without stress
  • Increasing independence with community chores
  • Staying calm when stressed
  • Asking for help
  • Recognizing stressors and learning ways to avoid them
  • Interacting more effectively with others
  • Interpersonal skills (what to do with strangers, how to introduce yourself)
  • Healthy Relationships (boundaries, how to identify people you trust and can gain help from)
  • Coping Strategies (learning to identify discomfort and ask for help)
  • Self-Regulation tools (mindfulness, taking deep breaths, taking breaks, calming down safely)
  • Socially acceptable rules of engagement for talking to strangers
  • How to use sensory related activities and materials
  • Learning to use technology – (computers, adapted equipment, iPads, phones, etc)
  • Building patience and tolerance
  • Building confidence
  • Working on negotiation strategies
  • Understanding consequences through introduction of contingency mapping
  • Implementation of communication supports
  • Increased independence
  • Opportunities to demonstrate competence and gain respect
  • Discovery of conditions necessary for community success
  • Learning to use social media to keep in touch and build friendships

No. This is a short term service for adults 18+ that uses evidence-based practices to help them become more effective and confident in fully integrated settings.

This service has flexible hours. We can discuss what best works for the type of scenario we want to address and make sure that it is a good fit for your schedule.

In most instances, Life Coaches transport clients to, from and during the service. Life Coaches may also meet the client within the environment where the scenario needs to occur, particularly if the practice scenario requires brevity.

Location really depends on the type of work being done, client preference, and the environmental conditions necessary for the scenario, but all of our work happens in a fully integrated setting where people with and without disabilities naturally visit.

Service times vary greatly, depending on the endurance of the person receiving service, the type of work being done, and the tolerance that the person has for work that is new or challenging. Individual sessions might range in time from 15 minutes to 2+ hours.

No, unfortunately! Because we are doing such specialized instruction, we need to be able to control all the factors in the scenario possible to make the experience pleasant and natural looking. While we’d all like a parade of people cheering us on when we do hard things, it’s not very normalizing and we want to avoid drawing any sort of special attention based on disability.

If you’re interested in learning how to support your person in scenarios that we are practicing, pair up with Consultation Services for therapeutic consultation. They can teach you exactly how to do what we’re doing.

Community Coaching is only designed for working with a person in a community setting, so the house doesn’t work, unless the issue is surrounding leaving the house or returning to the house. Our Consultation Services can help though!

At this time, through Branches of Life, no. Consultation Services does the assessment about the barriers in the way of success and creates the teaching protocol, analyzes collected data and designs the interventions to get the plan back on track, and works directly with the entire team.

Our Community Coaching implements protocols and research-based strategies, gathers the data and feedback, and works directly with the Positive Behavior Support Facilitator and the individual receiving service.

It’s easy! Contact your CSB service coordinator and let them know that you’re interested in adding Community Coaching and Consultation services. Be sure to mention Branches of Life!