Self Directed Services

Self-Directed Services (SDS) (formerly Participant Directed and Managed Services -PDMS) are family-managed services created to help individuals to reach certain outcomes. SDS promotes individuals’ independence, health, safety and emotional well-being. The intent of SDS is to increase flexibility regarding service delivery and funding to accommodate a variety of consumer needs and preferences.

How is the Family in charge?

With SDS, the Family and the individual develop a budget that allows more freedom in deciding what services are needed and how much to pay for each specific service. The Family chooses who they want to hire to provide services to their son/daughter, and is responsible for finding supports and creating a back-up plan in case of a staff person calling out of a shift (natural supports or paid). The Family is also in charge of paperwork that includes monthly progress notes, SDS service agreement, attendance sheets, time sheets, and invoice submission to the Account Manager.

What is the Agency’s responsibility?

Instead of a Service Coordinator, an Account Manager is appointed by the Area Agency to help to design services, to provide financial guidance and assist with budget management. With SDS, MDS is the employer of record, which means all potential supports need to go through a hiring process with the HR Director and complete their criminal record check prior to starting to work in PDMS programs.

Who is eligible?

SDS is not for everyone...SDS is open to families who wish to direct services for their family member and to individuals who are eligible for funding. SDS is NOT open to families who are not involved in directing services and decision making or who receive in-home supports.

What is the difference in roles for Account Manager vs. Service Coordinator?

Account Manager (SDS Service Coordinator)

  • the Family is in charge, hands off role

  • Monthly contact

  • Certification

  • Budget development and analysis (monthly actuals)

  • Processing invoices

Service Coordinator

  • Involved in the oversight of services

  • Monthly contact with individuals, family and providers

  • Scheduling and facilitating team meetings

  • Developing individual service agreement

  • Oversight of paperwork

  • Crisis intervention coordination

  • Identifying local resources for individuals

There are many more details to share about Self-Directed Services. For additional information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or your Service Coordinator at 603-352-1304.


MDS services include:

Consulting on disabilities issues

Service coordination

Family support services

Family Council

Supported living services

Self-Directed Services (SDS)

Partners in Health

Project SEARCH

Vocational supports

Recreational supports

Consumer benefits coordination and assistance

Training and educational opportunities

Quality Improvement