START Program Development

START program implementation follows a three to four-year development process where the National Center for START Services® (NCSS) provides ongoing, in-person, and virtual support in the form of START model tools, training, strategic planning, consultation, and technical assistance. This support occurs at all phases of implementation.

Visit the NCSS website to see all current START program locations

All START programs work together as a national community of practice facilitated by the National Center. Certified START programs provide:

  • Expertise in the mental health aspects of IDD
  • Validated assessments, training, interventions, and ongoing dialogue with stakeholders within the context of the START model’s guiding principles
  • Cross-systems crisis prevention and intervention planning
  • Certified START coordination
  • Therapeutic supports (resource centers and therapeutic coaching) provided by highly skilled direct support staff
  • Psychopharmacology consultation
  • Outreach to the person, their supports, and service providers to enhance the capacity of all
  • Face-to-face, timely crisis prevention and intervention services, and 24-hour/seven-day crisis response
  • Increased knowledge of MHIDD among professionals through outreach and training
  • Participation in NCSS innovative training and research initiatives