Frequently Asked Questions

Evaluation

I am concerned that my son/daughter may have a developmental problem, but I'm not sure. How can I find out what's really the matter?

You can arrange to have a free multidisciplinary evaluation done by the North Mississippi Regional Center. You may ask for an evaluation even if you do not want to have your son/daughter admitted to the Center. These evaluations are often used for enrollment in other school, therapy, or vocational programs in your community. To arrange for an evaluation, contact the Diagnostic Services Department at the Center at 662-513-7728.

What happens during the evaluation?

Members of the Diagnostic Services Department will do a series of tests that will last all day. Intelligence tests will be given, hearing and speaking abilities checked, and information about the person's everyday behavior and medical history taken. Education testing, along with a dietary evaluation, may also be included. Even infants are closely evaluated. It is necessary for a close family member, preferably a parent, to attend the evaluation.

When will I find out the results of the evaluation?

The Diagnostic Services staff will explain the test results to you on the afternoon of the evaluation. They will tell you about services in your area which may be available to help your son/daughter and answer any questions you may have. A written report will be sent to you as well.

How much does the multidisciplinary evaluation cost?

This evaluation is provided by the Center at no cost to you. Transportation to and from the Center is your only obligation. Mississippi Medicaid may assist with transportation if necessary.

Services

If my son/daughter has an intellectual or related developmental disability, will he/she be admitted to the North Mississippi Regional Center?

Not necessarily. Many persons with intellectual or related developmental disabilities do not need the kind of care and training we provide in our on-campus program. In fact, about three out of every four persons who have intellectual disabilities are able to support themselves and live independent of supervision. Generally, we serve persons who have moderate, severe, or profound levels of intellectual disability and who are in greater need of help. Laws and policies governing the Center also indicate who we may serve. Among the requirements are:

Even if placement is recommended, you are under no obligation to seek admission unless you desire it. Services are on a "first-come, first-served" basis. NMRC does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, sex, age, religion or national origin.

What other services are available besides residential care?

Can we get help in locating services for our son/daughter?

Yes. Case Managers in our Community Support Systems Department can help you. Just call the Center at 234-1476 and ask for a Case Manager.

Service Utilization Rosters

Pre-Admission

How do we find out when our son/daughter will be admitted to NMRC?

Parents are usually told well in advance when a vacancy will occur that permits admission. Sometimes, however, there are unscheduled vacancies and parents receive notification in two weeks or less. In all cases, after being contacted by a social worker, you will receive a written Letter of Confirmation verifying the date of admission.

Is there anything we need to do before admission?

The social worker from the Social Services Department representing the cottage to which your son/daughter has been assigned will stay in contact with you. This person will work with you to make sure all necessary information is filed with the Center. He/she will remind you about any items that might have been omitted during the pre-admission process. It is very important for all information and examinations requested to be completed as soon as possible for admission to take place as scheduled. Also, if it has been a while since your son/daughter has been evaluated, a new evaluation may be needed. The social worker will help make arrangements, if necessary.

What about clothing and personal items?

Before admission, you will receive a list of suggested clothing items. Our clients wear everyday clothing appropriate for any person of his/her age. We ask that all clothing be of a "wash and wear" nature, since the Center has no dry-cleaning facilities. Name tags will be provided by the Center and sewn into all clothing. The Center also provides mending services. Additional clothing can either be supplied directly by parents, or clients may be assisted in making individual clothing purchases. Receipts will be kept on all such purchases. Weekly and complete monthly inventories are made of every client's clothing. All necessary toilet articles are supplied by the Center. Each cottage has at least one television set. Radios and other such items will have labels affixed, but the Center cannot assume responsibility for them.

Costs

How much will it cost for my son/daughter to stay at the Center?

Costs of residential placement at the Center are set by the State Department of Mental Health. The Center's reimbursement officer can advise you on the present level of those costs. Parents or legal guardians who assume total responsibility for costs of care make payments on a monthly basis.

Is there any way to get financial assistance to pay these costs?

Yes. It is important to realize that several programs exist to help pay for residential care; therefore, costs should not be an overriding factor in the decision to place a family member at the Center. For many clients, a major source of assistance is the Medicaid program. Medicaid is a federally-funded program of health care assistance for the aged, blind, and disabled. This includes those whose disability is due to intellectual disability. Medicaid helps pay the direct costs of institutional care. Contact the Center's Reimbursement Officer for advice on applying for Medicaid. He or she will be able to assist you when you come in on evaluation day.

Visits, Telephone Calls, and Holidays

When and how often may I visit my son/daughter at the Center?

We encourage visits as often as the family is able. However, we request that you postpone your first visit until 30 days after your son/daughter has been admitted to the Center. This helps new clients adjust to being at the Center. It also gives the family time to adjust to the absence of the family member from their home. After this first month, families are free to arrange visits at any time. We ask that you try to visit the Center between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. However, we will be happy to discuss visits outside these hours, if necessary. For security reasons, all persons visiting the campus must sign a register at the reception desk of the Administration Building and must obtain a visitor's pass. During the week, family members may get a pass from the Social Services Department. After business hours and on weekends, the receptionist in the Center's Administration Building issues passes. If you are planning a weekend visit, you can ensure a pass will be waiting for you at the reception desk by telephoning ahead to Social Services. At the time of admission, your social worker will ask for a list of persons who may be allowed to take the client off campus. They will also ask about any persons for whom visitation passes should not be provided.

How do I telephone my son/daughter?

If you wish to call your son/daughter, you may dial the Center and ask for his/her cottage. If you wish to obtain information about your son/daughter, it is best to call the Social Services Department and talk to your social worker. After business hours and on weekends, you may want to call the cottage. If you do so, ask to speak to the supervisor in charge.

What about holidays?

The Center provides residential services every day of the year, including holidays. Families are encouraged to have clients home for the holidays and other visits as often as possible. In many cases, however, there are regulations which limit the number of days our clients may visit home each year. The social worker will be happy to discuss these limits with you.

Residential Services

What is life like for clients of the North Mississippi Regional Center?

It is not possible to cover all aspects of life at the Center in a small space. On the day of admission, or at any other time you may wish, a tour of the campus will be given.

How long do persons admitted to the Center usually stay?

We admit persons with many different levels of need and ability, so there is no one general answer to this question. Some people come to us with disabilities so great that care might be expected to last their entire lives. Many others, however, learn skills over a period of weeks, months, or years which eventually allow them to leave us. Throughout every client's stay, progress is closely monitored.

Where do people go when they are discharged from NMRC?

Some former clients return home. Others move to facilities where, while still supervised, they have a greater role in making decisions about their everyday lives. Many former clients leave the Center to enter one of our community programs, where they put into practice the daily living and vocational skills which they have learned at the Center.

Community Services

What community programs does the Center operate?

NMRC operates a number of programs designed for adults with developmental disabilities who do not require the level of care and training provided in our residential program. Some persons enter these programs directly, while others "graduate" into them after learning basic self-care skills at the Center. Community Transition Services and Community Support Systems programs include community homes, group homes, and supervised apartments.

What are community homes?

They are facilities designed both in environment and philosophy to provide persons with intellectual and related developmental disabilities the opportunities to live, work, and become actively involved in their communities. They are staffed 24 hours a day, with awake staff on duty during the evening shifts. These residential programs provide a level of care required by clients who have not fully developed the skills necessary for group home living, but for whom institutional care is too restrictive.

What are group homes and supervised apartments?

A group home is a living arrangement located in a neighborhood setting where a small number of persons with developmental disabilities live under the supervision of live-in house parents. The house parents provide training in the areas of self-help, socialization and communication. Clients who master these skills may move to a more independent setting such as a supervised apartment where an apartment manager provides training and supervision, but does not live on the premises.

What are work activity/prevocational centers and supported employment?

These are vocational training programs for adults with developmental disabilities. Clients work on subcontracts for local industries and at the same time learn vocational skills and earn money. Supported Employment, another Community Support Systems program,is designed to train clients for specific jobs within the community.

Disaster Information

Please call the NMRC main extension at 662-234-1476 for up-to-date information in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Parent Participation

How can I help support the work of the North Mississippi Regional Center?

Parents and other interested persons may take an active part in supporting the work of the Center by joining the "Friends of North Mississippi Regional Center" organization. This group was founded in 1974 to promote public awareness of the work of the Center and the needs of persons with intellectual and related developmental disabilities. It engages in fundraising activities and encourages volunteer support for the Center among civic groups, churches, and individuals in the service area. "Friends" also seek to provide aid and advice to parents of persons enrolled at the North Mississippi Regional Center. Meetings are held bimonthly. For further information contact the Office of the Director, North Mississippi Regional Center, 967 Regional Center Drive, Oxford, MS 38655.

Volunteer Information

How may I volunteer at NMRC?

A very rewarding way to volunteer is to become a "Best Friend" to an individual served by NMRC. Matches are based on shared interests and client needs. Best Friends visit on the Centerís Oxford campus or at its community based programs, and may also accompany clients on community awareness trips (shopping, dining out, movies, sporting events, etc.) For liability reasons, volunteers may not transport clients in their personal vehicles.

A second way to volunteer is within a programmatic department at NMRC. There is always a need for dedicated volunteers in our accredited school (providing educational programming for individuals under 21) and our adult workshop, where clients earn wages for work subcontracted from local businesses and industries. Many other departments also offer volunteer opportunities.

Evenings and weekends are generally best for Best Friend volunteering; weekdays from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. are best for the school, workshop, or other departments. There is no time requirement on volunteering, and no restriction on the number of hours you may serve. We only ask that Best Friends visit when they say they will (itís very important to the clients) or that departmental volunteers arrange a regular schedule with the school, workshop, or departmental staff.

Because NMRC serves vulnerable adults, the Center is required by law to perform full criminal background and child abuse registry checks, including digital fingerprinting, for each volunteer. All are completed at NMRC expense.

For more information on how you can take advantage of the many volunteering opportunities at NMRC, please see our Volunteer Information page.

Downloadable Application Form

The Application Form for Services can be found here.