Habilitation Centers / Active Treatment

Are there habilitation centers in the UK? What are they called? What is their approach?

In Washington State, we have specific habilitation centers that support individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities who are working through targeted personal challenges to living in the broader community, such as aggressive behaviors, elopement, theft, and the like. These centers provide 24-hour residential care with continuous formal and informal teaching (active treatment) with the aim of supporting the individuals in gaining the skills they need to successfully integrate back into the broader community.

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I would be interested to know more - and to hear of what people in the UK think is our nearest equivalent. Jeff

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How are the Habilitation Centers funded and how would you describe the model of care/treatment? Is there an average length of stay? Having a little more information could help us to understand what the model best resembles in regard to the UK. Also, who operates the Centers? Are they private providers?


These Intermediate Care Facilities are both State operated and private operated. Private operators receive State funding, which is contingent on substantial compliance with regulations. Clients are provided with both formal and informal training (active treatment). With high involvement of the client and guardian, the client’s interdisciplinary team of medical professionals, therapists, psychologists, and the client’s house manager develop and implement the client’s habilitation plan. The interdisciplinary team is led by the Habilitation Plan Administrator. The length of stay depends on the progress of the client toward attaining the skills needed to live safely in the community, which may span many years. What would be similar to this in the UK?

Here’s an example of one ICF in WA State: Rainier School | DSHS