Information on Chapter 688 Referrals
Chapter 688 Referrals
There are two methods by which students may be referred to adult agencies: direct or self-referral and the Chapter 688 referral process.
A Chapter 688 referral is completed by the school with the collaboration of the family to identify the need for supports for adults with severe disabilities. The goal of filing a 688 referral is to plan for adult services and establish linkages with adult agencies. As of September 2017, 688 referrals are only submitted electronically.
How to Make a 688 Referral
Only school systems can refer students that they believe may be eligible for adult services through Chapter 688. A 688 referral discussion should occur at the IEP Team meeting at least two years before the student is expected to graduate or turn 22, as part of transition planning. A referral must be made at least 2 years before the student is expected to exit school. This 2 year planning period allows enough time for the agency to determine eligibility for adult services and to include the anticipated cost of services for the student in the budget request which is submitted to the Massachusetts Legislature each year. The 688 referral form must be signed by the parent, legal guardian, or by the young adult who is 18 or older. To make the referral, the school district must ask the parent, young adult, or guardian to sign the consent in order to send school records to the appropriate local human services agency (DDS, DMH, MRC, DCF, etc.), generally selected based upon the most reasonable match between the student’s disability support needs and the agency’s area of expertise. The human services agency must then develop an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) with the family, young adult and school system personnel.