Clinical & Behavioral Services

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Behavioral Support Services (BSS) are provided to people who need help with emotional and behavioral communication and engagement so they can have meaningful social relationships at home, work, and community.  

Behavior Support Services include: 

  • Behavioral Assessment and Plan
  • Behavioral Consultation 
  • Brief Support Implementation Services

To learn more about DDA's BSS please review our BSS policy​


In 2018, DDA selected The MANDT System as the framework for behavior support as it aligns  with our mission and vision.  Mandt promotes individual and organizational well-being and safety with both non-physical and if needed, physical interactions. Focus areas of the training include de-escalation during the crisis phase, Positive Behavior Supports and trauma-informed care to help direct support professionals in understanding human behavior.

Please refer to the Recommended Websites at the bottom of this page for more information

Positive Behavioral Supports 

Positive Behavior Support (PBS) are best practice strategies used to increase quality of life and decrease problem behavior by teaching new skills and making changes in a person's environment. 
PBS  strategies are based on a multi-tiered approach:  

  • Tier 1 focuses on: All people are working together to improve their social and emotional skills, building positive relationships, recognizing and celebrating success, and encouraging people to improve the quality of their lives.   
  • Tier 2 focuses on: Strategies used to monitor, and problem solve when minor challenges occur that have an impact on social interactions and quality of life. Simple strategies are used to help increase social and emotional skills using group instruction and targeted interventions.
  • Tier 3 focuses on: A team forming around a person to help in problem solving. Different types of practices are used based on each person's strengths and needs. 

Please refer to the recommended websites and webinars at the bottom of this page for more information. 

Behavioral Respite 

Behavioral Respite is a short term planned and coordinated approach to address challenging behaviors and reintegrate a person back to their home environment and community.  

Behavioral Respite includes:

  • Positive Behavioral Supports
  • Trauma Informed Care approaches
  • Person Centered Planning
  • Support to the people and their team to identify and address barriers that are preventing people from participating fully in their community​

Please refer to the Behavioral Respite At a Glance at the bottom of this page for more information

Maryland Mobile Crisis 

Maryland Mobile Crisis is a group of behavioral health teams across the state. They can respond in-person as needed during a crisis. Anyone in Maryland can use this service. That includes people who get DDA services.

Learn more at 988MD
The logo of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline

Anyone in a crisis should call  988 to get mobile crisis services.  When someone in Maryland calls 988, one of the state's eight call centers will answer the call.  Which call center gets the call depends on the area code you dial from. 

These centers provide support over the phone.  They will also give you information about local resources. 

You can also text 988.

*For individuals living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland that are enrolled in DDA services and/or waiver services. If you require support for a behavioral crisis, please continue to contact Somerset Community Services at (443) 880-1147 to speak with their local BSS  mobile response team. 

*If there is high mental health risk involved in the crisis situation, you may choose to dial 988 to connect with the Maryland Behavioral Health Crisis System. "High mental health risk" includes experiences like thinking or talking about wanting to die or seeing/hearing things that aren't there. If you are not sure which service you need, start with a call to Somerset. As always, if someone is in imminent physical danger, dial 911.

Please refer to the Mobile Crisis At a Glance document at the bottom of this page for more information


Recommended Websites

Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR):

Behavioral Health Administration website for Core Service Agencies in Maryland:

Association for Positive Behavioral Supports: ​

Video introduction to the Mandt system: click here


DDA Documents

For questions and/or additional information contact Dr. Meg DePasquale, LCSW-C., DDA Headquarters at 443-468-0191,​