About Lifeworks FAQ

My family member has a specific disability. Do you serve this population?
  • Lifeworks primarily serves individuals with a diagnosis of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • We also support individuals who have additional challenges, such as learning disabilities, visual and auditory impairments, physical disabilities and mental health diagnoses.
What are your program eligibility criteria? What is the age group of the individuals you serve?
  • An individual must have a primary diagnosis of an intellectual or developmental disability and be at least 18 years of age.
  • There is no maximum age.
What types of residential services and living arrangements does Lifeworks offer?
  • We own and operate 17 programs. 4 to 12 individuals live in our residences on a permanent basis.
    • Residents share meals, social events and other activities of daily living that help create a well-rounded, meaningful lifestyle.
    • All residences are staffed 24-hours a day. The staff-to-individual ratio varies depending on the need of those served.
  • Two apartment programs serve a total of 22 individuals who live in one and two-bedroom apartments.
What is the Supported Living program? What types of services does Lifeworks provide in this program?
  • Our Supported Living program serves individuals living in their own apartments or with their families.
  • 4 to 24 hours of service is provided per week on an “as-needed” basis for personal care and medical needs as well as activities of daily living such as shopping, budget planning, laundry, etc.
What types of employment services does Lifeworks offer? Lifeworks features 3 employment opportunities.
  • Our Employment Opportunities Include:
    • Competitive employment in the community
    • Group employment and mobile work crews
    • Paid contract work in our Employment and Training Centers
    • A combination of any of the above
How do you accomplish your Community Employment Goals?
  • Lifeworks employs a full-time Job Development and Employer Services Manager, who works closely with business managers in our local communities.
  • Job seekers are matched with the opportunities that best suit their experience, skill levels and career goals.
  • We prepare resumes, assist with job applications, arrange and facilitate face-to-face interviews and negotiate hours and wages.
  • Our professional, dedicated job coaches provide training support during orientation and on-the-job until the individual is ready to work independently, with natural supports.
  • We offer a comprehensive 9-session “World of Work” program focused on ‘soft skills’, as well as optional participation in Job Clubs and other work-oriented and peer support programs.
What transition services do you offer to young adults who are “Turning 22”?
  • Lifeworks also has school partnerships formed with area high schools.
  • Our unique ‘School-to-Work‘ program gives students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience prior to graduating.
  • By attending Lifeworks programs before the age of 22, young adults acquire marketable vocational skills and acclimate gradually to a work setting, resulting in more successful post-school outcomes.
  • Lifeworks’ professional job coaches train students both in the classroom and on-site until they feel comfortable working independently and with greater confidence in their community jobs.
Where does Lifeworks’ funding come from?
  • Our primary funding source is the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).
  • We are also contracted with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), which has selected Lifeworks as a provider of job development services.
  • Additional support comes from the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority, the Department of Transitional Assistance, public partnership L.L.C., the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as local housing authorities.
What do our programs cost and who pays for it?
  • Most often, program costs will be paid by the funding source. However, in some cases services are paid for privately.
  • Costs are reviewed during the referral and evaluation process and based on the level and type of services required, whether residential, supported living or employment based.
    • Individuals who are referred for residential supports will need to pay a fixed percentage of their monthly income toward their program costs.
    • This fee is based on a specific formula designed by the Department of Developmental Services.
How to Get Services?
  • We will be happy to arrange an information session and tour of our program prior to your submitting an official referral.
  • Our staff will meet with the referring agency or person, as well as the family and all interested parties.
How do I request more information about services?
  • Requests for residential services should be sent directly to Chris Page, our Vice President, at the Lifeworks administrative offices. (781) 762-4001.
  • Requests for employment services should go directly to the appropriate Program Director.
    • MaryEllen Cameron, Norwood, MA (781) 769-3298 x 206
    • Mariano Gonzalez, Boston, MA (617) 323-7400 x 224
  • You are also welcome to contact any of our Program Directors. please refer to our Staff Directory for telephone numbers and email addresses.
What happens when services are requested?
  • A request for services begins with a phone call or email to determine if there is an applicable match.
  • Next, a tour of our facilities or a meeting is arranged. During this time Lifeworks may discuss potential funding sources with you where you can then submit your information to the funding source. If you already have funding, we will work with the funding agency to facilitate a smooth transfer.
  • You will meet with the funding agency, depending on needs, funding and service available, the funding agency may approve funding and refer you to Lifeworks for funded services. If you already have funding, the funding agency may recommend a transfer of services to Lifeworks.
  • Once a request for services is reviewed and accepted for consideration in our program, Lifeworks staff will conduct skills assessment, a review of all historical medication information, and a review of all services currently provided to the individual.
  • Lastly, if all parties are agreeable, the individual enters our program.
What accreditation and certification does Lifeworks have?
  • Lifeworks is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS).
    • We are proud to have received the highest certification possible from DDS, a 2-year license and “Certification with Distinction”.
  • We are also certified and nationally accredited by CARF at their highest level of Certification, a 3-year Accreditation for residential and employment supports services. CARF is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services designed to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served.
Do you provide references?
  • There are many success stories about the individuals we serve as well as testimonials by their staff, families, and employers. We are proud to share these with you throughout this website.
  • Area Directors for the Department of Developmental Services and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission will gladly provide references. Please ask us for names and contact information.