The Alabama Department of Mental Health is in the process of transforming the delivery of Medicaid Waiver programs to engage and empower all individuals to build a plan and vision for their own lives within the communities they live. This change focuses on a person-centered approach that examines existing strengths and abilities each individual possesses, as well as the strengths of their communities and natural supports, to identify the combination of supports and services that will assist in achieving their life goals.

The new approach ensures these unique strengths and abilities are identified, celebrated, and included in the exploration of life goals and the plan for achieving those goals. Individuals are equal partners in support of living their best life.

For existing ID/LAH waiver programs the changes will begin by October 1, 2020. For the new Community Waiver Program, beginning January 1, 2021, the changes will start with the program.

Individuals will have a primary voice to identify and celebrate their strengths and abilities, and those of their natural supports and communities, while exploring what is possible or needed to achieve their life goals. Families will see that person-centered, strengths-based planning, leads to person-centered, strength-based support for their loved ones.

Support Coordinators will assist individuals to develop their own plans to meet their goals and vision for their best life. A Conversation Guide will help to begin the process. Direct service providers will collaborate on putting the person-centered plan into action and assist in delivering opportunities for individuals to achieve their life goals. Communities will be engaged and will see and benefit from the active involvement of individuals, families, and providers that advance the collective good.

For questions on Person-centered planning, please call the Division of Developmental Disabilities at 334-242-3704 or email