ECF Services

What is ECF?

The Employment and Community First CHOICES program is administered by TennCare through contracted managed care organizations like Sertoma.  Intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals are offered services and programs to help them live a life full of purpose and promise by become employed and live as independently as possible in the community. 

  • Community Integration Support Service (CISS): Provide supports for valued and active participation in integrated daytime and nighttime activities that build on the person’s interests, preferences, gifts, and strengths while reflecting the person’s goals with regard to community involvement and membership. Promotes maximum participation in integrated community life while facilitating meaningful relationships, friendships, and social networks with persons without disabilities.
    • Volunteering in community
    • Recreation activities at parks
    • Recreation activities at community rec centers
    • Exercise classes at the YMCA
    • Day trips to Pigeon Forge, the Zoo, Knoxville Aquarium
    • Trail walks at Ijams Nature Center
    • Library events
  • Independent Living Skills (ILS): Provide education and skills development or training to improve the person’s ability to independently perform daily activities and utilize community resources as specified in the person’s Person-Centered Support Plan. Daily living skills may include only education and skill development related to: personal hygiene, food and meal preparation, home upkeep/maintenance, money management, computer use, accessing community resources, etc.
    • Personal hygiene
    • Food and meal preparation
    • Home upkeep/maintenance
    • Money management
    • Computer use
    • Accessing community resources
    • Safety
    • Etiquette
    • Social Skills
  • Personal Assistance (PA): Provides support to assist an individual with a disability to perform activities and instrumental activities of daily living at the person’s home, on the job, or in the community. PA services may include: support with eating, toileting, personal hygiene, development of activities of daily living, etc.
  • Supportive Home Care (SHC): Supports may be provided outside of the person’s home as long as the outcomes are consistent with the supports defined in the Person-Centered Support Plan with the goal of ensuring full participation and inclusion. Services include: hands-on assistance with dressing/undressing, bathing, feeding, toileting, personal hygiene, routine of housekeeping activities (washing dishes, laundry, vacuuming, meal preparation), observation of safety with directions, necessary cleaning of adaptive equipment, etc.
  • Respite: Service provided to a person supported when unpaid caregivers are absent or need relief from routine of caregiving responsibilities. Respite shall be limited to 30 days of service per person per calendar year or to 216 hours per person per calendar year, depending on the needs and preferences of the individual as reflected in the Person-Centered Support Plan.

ECF Employment

  1. Exploration: This is a time-limited and targeted service designed to help a person make an informed choice about whether s/he wishes to pursue individualized integrated employment or self-employment, as defined above. This service includes career exploration activities to identify a person’s specific interests and aptitudes for paid work, including experience and skills transferable to individualized integrated employment or self-employment.
  2. Discovery: This is a time-limited and targeted service for an individual who wishes to pursue individualized integrated employment or self-employment but for whom more information is needed to determine the following prior to pursuing individualized integrated employment or self-employment: strongest interests, skills, strengths, conditions necessary for successful employment, etc.
  3. Career Advancement: This is a time-limited career planning and advancement support service for persons currently engaged in individualized integrated employment or self-employment who wish to obtain a promotion and/or a second individualized integrated employment or self-employment opportunity. The outcomes of this service are: (1) the identification of the person’s specific career advancement objective; (2) development of a viable plan to achieve this objective; and (3) implementation of the plan which results in the person successfully achieving his/her specific career advancement objective.
  4. Job Development Plan: This is a time-limited and targeted service designed to create a clear and detailed plan for Job Development or for the start-up phase of Self-Employment. This service is limited to thirty (30) calendar days from the date of service initiation. This service includes a planning meeting involving the individual and other key people who will be instrumental in supporting the individual to become employed in individualized integrated employment or self-employment.
  5. Job Development Start-Up: This is a time-limited and targeted service to support and obtain an individualized competitive or customized job in an integrated employment setting in the general workforce, for which an individual is compensated at or above the minimum wage, but ideally not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals without disabilities. The Job Development strategy should reflect best practices and adjusted based on whether the individual is seeking competitive or customized employment.
  6. Job Coaching: This is for Individualized , Integrated Employment includes identifying, through job analysis, and providing services and supports that assist the individual in maintaining individualized integrated employment that pays at least minimum wage but ideally not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals without disabilities. The amount of time authorized for this service is a percentage of the individual’s hours worked and is tiered; based on the individual’s level of disability and the length of time the person has been employed on the job.
  7. Integrated Employment PATH Service (PATH): The provision of time-limited learning and work experiences, including volunteer opportunities, where a person can develop general, non-job-task-specific strengths and skills that contribute to employability in individualized integrated employment or self-employment. Individuals receiving PATH must have a desire to obtain some type of individualized integrated employment or self-employment and this goal must be documented in the Person-Centered Support Plan.

ECF Links

  • For Information on Employment and Community First CHOICES (ECF) Program: Click here
  • More Services offered in ECF: Click here
  • How to apply for the ECF program before being referred to a Provider: Click here

ECF Staff

  • Heather Shultz – ECF Program Director
  • Ciarra Teasley – ECF Coordinator
  • Dan Ashbeck – ECF Job Developer
  • Erin Schulenberg – ECF Job Developer