Residential Services—Individualized Residential Alternative

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Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA) Services provide a community-based residential setting for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health diagnoses, including autism. Hillside has 10 IRAs located throughout Monroe, Wayne and Erie Counties.

About this Program

IRA Community Group Homes are designed to feel like a person’s home. The goal of staff intervention is to support individuals to direct the course of their own lives by building skills and living as independently as possible. The individuals and their families are the major decision makers in the service planning process. Goals are driven by the youth’s strengths, interests, and needs. Individuals are supported in building positive relationships with friends, family, and the community.

Service planning begins with the development of a Life Plan prior to move-in. This document details the person’s hopes, dreams, and goals. IRA staff collaborate with the individuals, their families, and Care Coordinator to select objectives that work towards life goals.

The IRA service plan is called the Residential Habilitation Plan. This plan is customized for each individual to help him/her learn skills in areas such as general living, community involvement, and recreation. Youth accepted for the program are required to maintain community school placement or day program.

Individuals take responsibility for the home by preparing meals and completing chores with staff support. Each person in the house provides input in choosing community activities, recreational activities, menus, and group living rules. The IRA staff develop individualized behavior support plans, in collaboration with the individuals and families, to assist in the teaching and development of respectful behaviors.

Our clinical team has a wide variety of skills, knowledge and training. The team includes a behavior specialist, registered nurse coordinator, management, and direct care staff. This diversity allows us to work together to provide treatment to youth and ensure quality services.

Educational services, as funded and required by the New York State Department of Education are provided on the campus if the child cannot be maintained in his/her current school district. Guided by each student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), daily instruction is designed to maximize each student’s ability to learn academically and socially. Working collaboratively with families and youth, the goal is to help students to improve their academic achievement and emotional coping skills so that they can return to their school district.

Health Care services are obtained from community providers (e.g., medical, dental, psychiatry, counseling, specialists, etc.). Hillside’s IRA staff work collaboratively with the youth’s medical team to ensure proper medical treatment is maintained. Medication is given in the homes by Approved Medication Assistive Personnel (AMAP) certified staff. Nurse Coordinators are assigned to each home and oversee medical care for individuals at the IRA.

Recreational activities in which individuals may participate engage if they express interest include Boy and Girl Scouts, gardening, maple syrup collecting, canoeing, kayaking, camping/cookouts, kickball, basketball, Special Olympics, summer camps and volunteering in the community.

Transition planning to the individual’s home or community residential placement is an integral part of the service, and will begin at referral. Placement at Hutchison is temporary, typically less than a year in length, and transition to a community IRA or to the family home is generally the next step.


Youth ages 7 to 18 years | IQ Range: 50 to 80

Hillside’s IRA program is available to eligible youth, individuals and families from the following counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates.


Group Homes in Monroe, Wayne and Erie counties

Contact Information

For details about this or any Hillside program, contact us 24 hours a day at 585-256-7500 or info@hillside.com

This Program Supported by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

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