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2021 Family Engagement Program

The Summit DD Family Engagement Program (FEP) is back for 2021. This program was created to give families the access to funding that promotes community inclusion for their kids and teens.

Here’s what you need to know for 2021.

“An overwhelming majority of the requests are for camps, community classes and memberships,” shared SSA Senior Manager Jennie Petrarca. “This not only supports our families, but our community as well.”

How the Program Works

Family Engagement Program (FEP) funds are available to people who are:

  • Eligible for Summit DD services;
  • Between the ages of 0-22;
  • Living at home with a parent or guardian; and
  • Who do not have waiver funding.

All 2021 requests will be funded on a reimbursement basis only. The program will continue to be administered through your family’s Summit DD connection. (This could be a Referral & Support Specialist, Service and Support Administrator or a Developmental Specialist.) Your Summit DD contact will help you identify if this program is right for your child’s needs and answer any question that you may have.

“Once the individual or family has provided Summit DD staff with a description and cost of the good or service, Summit DD staff will review the expenditure and let you know if the expenditure is approved for purchase,” explained Holly Brugh, Director of Service & Support Administration and Children’s Services. “Then when the family provides a receipt, a reimbursement payment will be authorized.” Brugh continued.

Family Engagement Program Payments

If you receive approval, you may purchase the approved good or service.

Please note, conversation and approval from Summit DD must occur prior to your purchase or you WILL NOT be reimbursed, even if you have a receipt.

Once the approved item or service has been paid for, a receipt must be provided to Summit DD to request the reimbursement payment. Payments will go directly to the individual or family to reimburse them for the item or service.

Reimbursement for goods and services will go directly to the individual or family via a direct deposit from a third party. Families choosing to have the money deposited into their own account must complete a W9 form, as this may count toward your taxable income.  If your family has established a checking or savings account in your child’s name, no W9 form is required and the money can be deposited there.  Additionally, families may choose to establish a STABLE account for your child where the money can also be deposited and no W9 would be needed. (Learn more about setting up a Stable Account.) Your Summit DD contact can answer specific questions that you may have.

Receipts can be returned to Summit DD by giving them to a staff member or mailing them to Summit DD. RECEIPTS for purchases are REQUIRED to be provided to Summit DD or the family will not be reimbursed. Please note, if you have not yet provided Summit DD with receipts from funds provided to you in years 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020, you will not be eligible for future funds until those receipts are provided to Summit DD and approved.

FEP funds will be allocated based on each family’s individual need and financial situation up to a maximum amount of $1,800 per child with a total family cap of $2,500 per family.  These funds are meant to serve as additional support to children and young adults eligible for Summit DD services and are not meant to replace a family’s obligation to pay for typical expenses.  Funds are available for one calendar year beginning January 1, 2020 and may be used all at once or in smaller increments over the course of the year.  Summit DD reserves the right to discontinue the FEP program based on the availability of budgeted funds.

2021 Details

Summit DD staff will be using a new system to process FEP requests and receipts effective January 2021.  While it will not change anything about how you use or access the program, there may be slight delays with approvals and reimbursements for the first few months of the year.

Funds are available for one calendar year beginning January 1, 2021. Funds may be used all at once or in smaller increments over the course of the year.  Summit DD reserves the right to end the FEP program based on the availability of budgeted funds.

FEP funds used for respite care MUST be provided by a Department of Developmental Disabilities (DoDD) certified provider who will be paid directly by Summit DD. All respite providers must meet the certification requirements set forth by DoDD, as well as have an additional eight hours of training in child development and are certified in infant/child CPR. Your Summit DD staff member will be able to help you identify qualified providers.

Should a family have difficulty selecting a DoDD certified provider, you may then use a family-chosen provider who meets the following criteria:

  • 18 years of age or older,
  • NOT a family member or anyone living in the family home, and
  • This individual must participate in a four hour training session hosted by Summit DD prior to providing services.
  • When using a family chosen provider, a receipt for services will be necessary.

If you need environmental adaptations, please discuss your needs with a Summit DD staff member. In some cases, they may be able to help you seek alternative funding.

FEP funds CAN be used for the following:

  • Summer camp
  • Transportation to and from community based activities, paid at the current waiver rate ($.45 per mile)
  • Respite care from providers meeting criteria above
  • Adaptive equipment (with proper documentation from a licensed professional)
  • Safety Equipment (gates, door alarms, etc.)
  • Therapies not otherwise covered by insurance
  • Tutoring/ Academic supports necessary for success and not able to be provided by school
  • Health related supplies or supplements not otherwise covered by insurance

Families are encouraged to reach out to your SSA, Developmental Specialist or Referral and Support Specialist who will assist you through this process.

Download the full 2021 FEP Letter


Questions about the Family Engagement Program ? Please contact Jennie Petrarca at

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