Choose Between Self-Directed Programs

The Self-Directed Employee options have changed! Beginning in December 2019, individuals and their families can choose between the Employer Agent (EA) or the Agency with Choice (AwC) models. Please see important information below.

What are Self-Directed Services?

In general, self-directed services are those which are designed around the individual. Self-Directed Services provide a person and his or her family the opportunity to make decisions about what supports and services they need to enjoy meaningful relationships, experience personal health and growth, live in the home & community they choose, and in the way they wish.

What are Self-Directed Employees?

No one understands the individual's support needs better than the individual and/or family. One way to gain reliable, competent, support is to hire one's own employee. It can be a family member, friend, or simply a person or persons located that can be trained to work with the support needs unique to the person.

Choosing Between Self-Directed Models

There are now TWO choices in hiring one's own support staff. The NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities refers to them as the Employer Agent (EA) and Agency with Choice (AwC) models. As with anything, each has benefits and draw backs.

  • In the EA model, the individual is the employer and Public Partnership (state's fiscal agent) aids distributing the compensation in accordance with the NJISP.

  • In the AwC model, the employee is actually an employee of Easter Seals and its up to Easter Seals to manage hours and staffing also in accordance with what's outlined in the NJISP.

Which Choice is Best for You?


That's our job! We help you to decide. SPWA will aid in navigating both models to determine which is best suited for your family/life/needs. Contact us to help you begin planning.