Family Support Services

Family Support, funded by the Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), offers varied services to families with a son, daughter, or relative with intellectual disabilities and, in some instances, developmental delays living at home. The goal of Family Support is to provide families with the resources and services they need to maintain their family member at home.

Description of Services

The Arc of Rensselaer County Family Support Services provides the following services to families who live in Rensselaer County and occasionally others who may live in other counties:

In Home Services: Respite and other forms of habilitation services are provided to individuals in their home by trained staff. This type of support offers skilled assistance to the family member with a disability in developing new skills, typically while other family members attend to activities outside the home.

Hourly Respite: Provides short-term relief to primary caregivers. Social and recreational opportunities are provided one-on-one in the home or community.

Community Habilitation: Provides a goal based service, one-on-one in the home or community. Examples of some goal areas include hygiene, household chores, budgeting, or community inclusion.

Free Standing Respite: Provides weekend overnight respite services in a small home. Between four to six guests can be accomodated per weekend. Guests may choose to stay overnight or come for day visit. Guests engage in social and recreational opportunities while at the respite house.

Recreation: Provides evening and weekend recreational activities for teens and adults. These include a variety of community based opportunities for socialization, exercise and leisure.

Family Reimbursement: Provides financial resources to families that have a child with a disability when their needs cannot be met by any other resource. Examples include past due heating bills, clothing, school supplies, respite, and medical equipment not covered by insurance. For more information contact Cindy Case at 518-273-6600 ext 2049 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Medically Frail Reimbursement: Provides financial resources to families whose children are medically vulnerable or frail. Examples include medical supplies, medications, equiptment, and transportation to appointments.

Guardianship: This service assists families through the legal process of becoming a guardian for an adult with a disability.  For more information contact Cindy Case at 518-273-6600 ext 2049 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Summer Camp: A six--week program offered from July-to August for children with or without disabilities. Ages range from five to twenty-one years old. Camp focuses on sports, science, nature and, arts and crafts. Weekly trips to Grafton State Park occur for hiking, swimming and games.

Testimonials and Success Stories

“They say the days are long, and the years are quick”

By Tracey Hempel
Associate Executive Director of Community Supports

April 29, 2016 will be my 20th Anniversary with The Arc of Rensselaer County; thankfully it’s also a Friday! I can say for certain that when I crossed over the river, I didn’t anticipate the journey that I was about to begin. We had 28 hour shifts back then, I was a floater (DSP) which meant I worked at every location, but Hoosick St., Detroit and Euclid Ave were places that I called home. They were the absolute joys of my work schedule; now that’s not to say that I didn’t love other place or people, but I had an undeniable, almost innate, connection with the people who lived in those places. I look back at those memories, like I do my childhood memories. For all intents and purposes, they could be because no place and no one person has defined me more than The Arc. Ok, maybe my kids and my husband have had a hand in shaping me too, but in three years, I will have been working at The Arc for half of my adult life. I would be lying if I told you that statement doesn’t impact me; I am who I am because of all of the people who I have crossed paths with over the years, all of the experiences they shared with me and the lessons that came along the way. For that, I am thankful.

(Tracey is shown in the picture above with Rob Beza in 1997)
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If you want to report any situation that you think represents Medicaid fraud within the agency, please call the Corporate Compliance Hot Line at 518-687-1395

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