I-START

I-START (Systematic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources & Treatment) provides prevention and intervention services to individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) and mental health needs through crisis response, training, consultation, and outreach. I-START uses evidence based practices to help support service teams who serve individuals with IDD. I-START’s goal is to help individuals remain in their home or community placement. County Social Services offers this service option to teams within the 22-county social services region at no cost.

I-START provides community based prevention and intervention services to individuals, age 17 and older, with a diagnosis of IDD and behavioral health needs. I-START accepts referrals from multiple sources including providers, case managers, service coordinators, care coordinators, families, and individuals. Consultation services are available for individuals age 6 to 16 within the CSS region. I-START consultation includes 8-12 hours of observation, case analysis, recommendations and training”

Once an individual is accepted for I-START services, an I-START Coordinator will be assigned to the case and team. I-START Coordinators are valued partners to teams in supporting their efforts to better serve individuals. I-START Coordinators will work closely with the team to complete assessments of the individual’s strengths and skills, functioning, medical, status, and medications (including side effects). The Coordinator will then work closely with the team to develop a Cross System Crisis Prevention & Intervention Plan for the individual, which provides the tools needed to support an individual through crisis. Coordinators can provide individual or disability specific trainings to teams. Additionally, Coordinators can conduct onsite observation and staff coaching, as requested by the team.

I-START Coordinators complete ongoing outreach with the team. Regular outreach is the most important factor when supporting a team with accomplishing needed goals. Open communication and accountability fostered through regular outreach allows for sustaining positive behavioral change over time. 

August 1st, 2017 I-START launched its 24/7 on-call support line. This service is available to teams who currently receive I-START services. An essential role of I-START is to provide support and guidance to teams during crisis situations to prevent unnecessary ER visits or Mental Health Hospitalization. On-call crisis supports include immediate telephonic access and face-to-face response if needed. The I-START On-Call Number is 641.525.0401. If the crisis is life threatening, please call 911.


The CSS I-START Referral Form and Release of Information (ROI) is available in the Important Documents section in the left-hand margin. A completed ROI is required before services can begin. Please email the completed referral form and release of information to istart@countysocialservices.org, or fax to 641.201.3992, or call 641.903.5210.