North Carolina START Central Becomes First Certified START Program

NC START certification

The Center for START Services is pleased to announce that North Carolina (NC) START Central is the first Certified START Program in the United States. START is a national initiative that works to strengthen efficiencies and service outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and behavioral health needs in the community.

“We were very impressed by the dedication of the NC START team and the fine quality of services they are providing,” says Dr. Joan Beasley, Director of the Center for START Services, “We look forward to more START teams receiving this certification in the future.”

The NC START Central program is one of three in North Carolina and one of fifteen fully implemented START programs nationwide, with more in development. Receiving START Program Certification demonstrates that the program has maintained fidelity to the model through the use and mastery of evidence informed positive practices and systems linkage approaches in order to increase community resources and fill service gaps.

The Program Certification process is rigorous and requires programs to demonstrate START competencies through systematic reviews of all elements of their program, including random record reviews, in-depth analysis of the program's data and outcomes, interviews of families and individuals supported through the program, staff interviews, and demonstrations of skills.

The Center for START Services was founded in 2009 at the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire to respond to a nationwide demand to develop START services and provide technical support, education, and guidelines to ensure model fidelity. It aims to improve the lives of persons with IDD and behavioral health needs and their families through fidelity to the START model with exemplary services and supports that emphasize local, person-centered, positive, multidisciplinary, cost-effective, and evidence-informed practices. For information, visit