Programs and Services

The Arc of Western Wayne County strives to develop programs and services that meet the diverse needs of the people we support. We look forward to assisting you!


GAIN (Guardianship Alternatives Information Network) – GAIN, a joint project between The Arc of Western Wayne County and The Arc of Northwest Wayne County, exists to help people with disabilities and their families make a good, informed decision about guardianship and its alternatives.

There are many alternatives to guardianship. The primary one is the use of family and friends who are involved in the person’s life. If someone can get the support and services they need and want with the help of family and friends, there is no need for guardianship. Other alternatives include durable powers of attorney, advance directives for health care, financial powers of attorney, trusts, family consent policies and other surrogate arrangements.

GAIN has an attorney on staff that can provide outreach, information and referral, education and technical assistance to people with disabilities and their families on alternatives to guardianship. To learn more about this program, you may also read or download a brochure here. If you would like more information, or need assistance with alternatives to guardianship, please contact GAIN at 866.365.3231 or The Arc of Western Wayne County at 734.729.9100 or via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

You may also contact The Arc of Northwest Wayne County at 313.532.7915 or via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Michigan Alliance for FamiliesMichigan Alliance for Families is a collaborative project through The Arc Michigan, Michigan Department of Education and Early On Michigan. The Arc Michigan has contracted with The Arc of Western Wayne County as one of the alliance’s regional sites to provide information, support and education to families of children and young adults with disabilities from birth to age 26. The alliance connects families to resources in their own community.

The alliance also helps facilitate parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities. The Michigan Alliance for Families can help parents in knowing their rights, effectively communicating their child’s needs and can offer parents advice on how to help their child develop and learn.

Each regional site offers a Regional Parent Mentor with expertise in disability and educational issues and who is knowledgeable about community resources, including organizations, professionals, and other parents who might be of assistance. Regional Parent Mentors connect families with the resources they need, provide information and assistance, and mentor parents as needed.

Regional Parent Mentors host a series of learning opportunities for parents in each region. The initial learning opportunities include:

  • Individualized education programs (IEPs)
  • Individualized family service plans (IFSPs)
  • Mediation and facilitated IEPs
  • Overview of IDEA
  • Transitions
  • Positive Behavioral Supports
  • Assistive Technology
  • Parent/professional collaboration
  • Rights and responsibilities

The After I’m Gone program – The After I’m Gone program assists parents of children and adults with disabilities in planning for their son or daughter’s future when they are no longer able to provide care.

This Program is offered free of charge by The Arc of Western Wayne County and The Arc of Northwest Wayne County, and is funded by The Detroit Wayne County Community Mental Health Agency.

The program offers families a chance to attend informational sessions on a variety of topics, as a means of gathering information in order to make the best decisions about planning for the future needs of their child with a disability. Topics include, but are not limited to, Alternatives to Guardianship, Estate Planning, Creative Housing Options, Employment and Community Participation, Social Security and the Michigan Department of Social Services, and Financial Planning.

Read or download the 2011-2013 After I’m Gone brochure here.

If you would like more information or would like to schedule a meeting with an advocate, contact The Arc of Western Wayne County at 734.729.9100 or via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

You may also contact The Arc of Northwest Wayne County at 313.532.7915 or via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The Take Charge Helpline – This automated telephone information and referral system, provided by The Detroit Wayne County Community Mental Health System, includes hundreds of scripts. It provides information on topics such as Advocacy and Service Provider Agencies in Wayne County that can assist people with disabilities, Benefits, Education, Recreation and Leisure, Recipient Rights and a host of other topics important to people with disabilities and their families.

These topics are available on our website in The Take Charge Helpline section in written and audio formats.

The Community Participation Initiative – The Community Participation Initiative helps to create meaningful connections for people with disabilities to their communities. Check out the flyer for more information and frequently asked questions.

Dignified Lifestyles Community Connections – The Arc of Western Wayne County visits and builds relationships with people with disabilities living in licensed and unlicensed settings to assess and support their quality of life.

The program has been funded by a grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH) since April of 1987. With support from both the local and state Arcs, volunteers visit DMH-funded, Contract B group homes to assure the people living there are living high quality lives. Volunteers have been family members of persons with disabilities, friends and concerned citizens. The program has evolved over the years to include Community Connections, which offers us an opportunity to "connect" people with disabilities with resources and opportunities available to them in their own communities.

What the program looks for is different from what a licensing person looks for in that we are less concerned with licensing rules and more concerned with quality of life issues. We are reminded to always ask "Would I want to live at this home?" The program’s expectations are:

  • That all people will be encouraged and supported to make choices about all aspects of their lives.
  • That people will be encouraged and supported to become active contributing members of the community.
  • That people will be encouraged and supported to achieve a valued reputation in the community.
  • That people will be provided the opportunity to learn functional skills and be supported to achieve productivity, independence and self worth.
  • That people will be encouraged and supported to maintain strong family relationships, pursue new friendships within the community at large and to continue current friendships.



Advocacy and Family Support – The Arc of Western Wayne County exists to advocate effectively for people with developmental disabilities and their families so that they may participate fully in their community.

The Arc of Western Wayne County provides individualized assistance to people with developmental disabilities and their families to ensure they are obtaining appropriate services in the areas of education, housing, employment, family support, prevention and health care, case management, and recreation.

Independent Supports Coordination – The Arc of Western Wayne County began providing Independent Supports Coordination services in 2005 for several people receiving mental health services through Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority. The Arc contracts with each person individually, and is paid for this service through Oakland County CMHA’s contracted Fiscal Intermediary agent, CLS, Inc.

As Independent Supports Coordinators, we work with people and their families to develop a plan of service based on a person centered planning process. We then support each person in achieving the goals that they identified in their plan of service by helping them secure the necessary services and supports through the mental health system, family, friends and the community. To read more about Person Centered Planning, click here.

Independent Facilitation – The Arc of Western Wayne County can be a facilitator at person centered planning meetings. A facilitator is a person who leads a group of people through the person centered planning process. People should always be offered a choice of who facilitates their planning meeting. A good facilitator should get people motivated to share ideas. If this is your meeting, the facilitator should always involve you and make sure that you understand what is being said at your meeting.

As facilitators, we strive to be good listeners, check for understanding regularly and guard against immediate or old solutions. We are well prepared for each meeting, and strive to maintain focus and will always redirect attention or concerns that are not related to the plan’s development.

Fiscal Intermediary Services – The Arc of Western Wayne County has been acting as Fiscal Intermediary through CLS, Inc. since 1992. We believe that people receiving services and supports from the Mental Health System should be able to self-direct those services and supports based on what they want and need.

We work hard to provide good service to every person that chooses us as his or her Fiscal Intermediary. We will listen to them and their family, and work closely with the people that support them to live the life they want.

After someone has had their Person Centered Plan, they should have had a budget developed based on what their resources are and what their expenses will be. Resources are things like income from a job, Social Security or SSI, Food Stamps, Adult Home Help and funding from the Mental Health System. Expenses may be things like rent, food, staff, insurance, transportation, utilities, and home maintenance.

As Fiscal Intermediary, The Arc of Western Wayne County can receive some of the money identified in the resource part of that budget, and manage payment for some of the items in the expense part of that budget. How involved we are with helping someone manage his or her money is up to him or her.

We can also offer administrative services, such as:

  • Keeping your dollars safe until payment needs to be made.
  • Paying the people or agencies that you have chosen as your service providers.
  • Keeping track of the dollars coming in and what we have paid for you.
  • Giving you a statement every month that shows how much you spent that month, and how much you have left to spend for the year.

We can act as your Employer Agent, which means we can take care of lots of paperwork for you that is important if you hire your own staff. For example:

  • Obtain an Employer Identification Number
  • Pay your staff, and take care of payroll, withholdings, taxes, W-2 Forms and Tax Statements
  • Make payment to a Staffing Agent, if that is your choice.

For any staff that you choose to hire, The Arc of Western Wayne County will help you check to be sure they are good, safe people to have working for you in your home. For example, we will:

  • Check their background to make sure they do not have a criminal record.
  • Make sure that they have the training that you would like them to have in order to meet your needs, like CPR and First Aid, and training on Recipient Rights.
  • Make sure they are old enough to be working for you, and that they are a United States citizen.

Learn more, read or download an informational brochure on Fiscal Intermediary Services here.


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The Arc of Western Wayne County – when you need them, they are there for you with advocacy, support, dependability, referrals and follow-through.

- Lucia Morrison

Support Coordinator
Detroit Resource Center