Frequently Asked Questions
Forward Journey is for adults (21+) with multiple, severe disabilities who cannot attend other day programs due to their specialized needs. For example, our staff can accommodate individuals with feeding tubes or tracheostomies. We can also manage attendees who cannot toilet independently. View our complete admissions criteria for more information.
All applicants must get a referral through the Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS) for day habilitation services. However, the prospective candidate must tour our site first to make sure it’s a good fit. We’ve outlined a three-step application process to make it easier for caregivers.
There is no cost for eligible participants to attend Forward Journey. As a certified provider of adult day habilitation services through the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS), reimbursements cover a portion of our costs. We rely on grants, special events, and donations to make up the difference, keeping our services free.
Forward Journey has two locations in Delaware.
New Castle County
52 Reads Way
New Castle, Delaware 19720
699 South Carter Road, Suite 1
Smyrna, Delaware 19977
The Forward Journey program is delivered Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., unless there is a holiday or staff in-service. Caregivers will receive notification about these closings well in advance. You can also view our agency calendar.
In the event of inclement weather, Forward Journey is set up with SnoWatch on the radio (WDEL 1150 AM, WDEL 101.7 FM, and WSTW 93.7 FM) and online (WDEL and WSTW). You can sign up for text alerts by going to these two links. If you do not see Forward Journey/C.E.R.T.S. listed as being closed by 7:00 a.m., that means the program will be open for the day. Because the weather between counties can vary, there may be a day where one Forward Journey location is closed for the day and the other is not. Please be sure to listen/read carefully.
Forward Journey does not provide daily transportation to and from our locations for participants. Families/group homes are responsible for arranging transportation. There are three options:
- DART Paratransit (an application must be completed and approved if not already)
- Modivcare (formerly Logisticare; a regional dispatch company working with a network of private transportation companies to provide an alternative to Paratransit)
- Family members/group homes can drive the participant
Note: Forward Journey provides transportation for community outings.
MOVE™ stands for Mobility Opportunities Via Education/Experience. This is an internationally recognized program designed to help those with severe disabilities improve their sitting, standing, walking, and transitioning skills. Our staff incorporate skills practice throughout the individual’s day, making it fun and motivating. The goal is always for the individual to participate in all aspects of their day with as much independence as possible.
The MOVE™ Program has six steps:
- Step One determines the individual’s present skill level through an interview assessment.
- Step Two determines the functional goals needed for the individual to become more independent.
- Step Three creates meaningful, functional activities and embeds appropriate skills into the activity for the individual to be successful in reaching their goals.
- Step Four looks at the supports the individual currently needs.
- Step Five reduces the prompts the individual needs.
- Step Six defines and schedules teaching of the skills throughout the individual’s typical day.
Participants have shown increased circulation, muscle mass, enhanced digestion, and a decrease in bone loss. Plus, with improved communication and greater movement, we’ve seen their social skills blossom as well.
Forward Journey is a MOVE™ Model Site, which means we have trained our entire staff and can host visitors who would like to see the program in action. We’re proud to be the first MOVE™ for Adults Model Site in Delaware, and only the third worldwide.
Before admission, Forward Journey gathers information about the participant’s health status to develop a customized plan for their care. This is incorporated into their Life Span Plan (LSP) and reviewed every year (or more often if their health changes). We’ll review topics such as:
- Primary and secondary diagnoses
- Dietary restrictions
- Seizure protocols
- Emergency protocols
In addition, staff provides a daily update, notifications about any new behaviors, and special reports if there’s been an injury, seizure, or other emergency. We collaborate with the caregiver for the best possible outcomes.
Forward Journey carefully selects our team members through a rigorous process that includes a structured interview with two senior managers, job shadowing during the program day, in-depth background checks, and other pre-employment tests to make sure they’re a good fit.
We maintain a low staff to participant ratio, which is crucial to providing high quality, focused care. Without this, our staff wouldn’t have the time to get to know each participant and provide the positive, encouraging interaction that makes all the difference.
In addition, we have a Director of Nursing, Program Manager, Program Nurse, and Assistant Program Manager in New Castle County. The Kent County site has a Program Specialist who is a Registered Nurse and also provides supervision of direct care staff. Both sites share the Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director, and the Operations & Human Resource Manager. We subcontract any specialized therapies.
Forward Journey carefully selects our team members through a rigorous process that includes a structured interview, job shadowing, in-depth background checks, and other pre-employment tests to make sure they’re a good fit. Direct care staff are regularly recertified on topics such as seizure management, safe feeding, MOVE® Basic Provider, CPR/First Aid, universal precautions, lift training, fall precautions, medication administration, and wheelchair safety. Even staff who don’t provide direct care must be CPR/FA trained.
Forward Journey is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Our Board of Directors is comprised of educational professionals, parents of adults with disabilities, and interested members of the business community. Reporting to the President of the Board, the Executive Director is responsible for delivery of daily services, employee supervision, fundraising, and implementation of all federal and state standards, policies, and procedures. Learn more about our Board and Staff.
The main number for all locations is 302-731-0301. The prompts on our voice system will ask if you wish to speak to someone at New Castle County or Kent County. If you know the extension, dial it at any time. There are additional prompts on the system for emergencies and for contacting a specific staff member. You can also send a message through this website by visiting the Contact page.