The Healthy Relationships Program
The Arc of King County’s Healthy Relationships Program offers:
1. Specialized Habilitation
2. A Relationship and Sexuality Resource Line
3. Workshops for People with I/DD and the Community
4. Healthy Relationships School Program and Curriculum
The Healthy Relationships Program at The Arc of King County is offering a new service to eligible DDA clients with approved Specialized Habilitation hours who want to focus on improving relationships in their life. Specialized Habilitation offers a place to learn one-on-one or in small groups. Learn practical skills to have safe and healthy relationships with family, friends, coworkers, staff, and romantic and sexual partners. Learn to advocate for yourself, understand your body, and make informed decisions about your life and your relationships.
Each person can set their own goals and we will work together toward those goals. The categories for specialized habilitation are:
- Safety awareness and self-advocacy
- Interpersonal and effective communication
- Coping strategies regarding typical life challenges
- Managing daily tasks and acquiring adaptive skills
Some common goals in our program include understanding boundaries and consent, dating, understanding different types of relationships, recognizing unhealthy relationships, improving communication, and sexual decision making.
Eligibility and Cost
Specialized Habilitation is paid for by DDA and is available to participants enrolled in the following programs:
- Individual and Family Services waiver
- Basic Plus waiver
- Children’s Intensive In-Home Behavioral Supports waiver
- Core waiver
- Roads to Community Living
- Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR)
Specialized habilitation is not available to those receiving residential habilitation services. For more information about eligibility and to sign up, contact your DDA Case Manager.
Relationship and Sexuality Resource Line
Our Relationship and Sexuality Resource Line is for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and community members to ask confidential questions and receive support around healthy relationships and sexuality issues. Common reason people contact us include:
- Resources to help talk to youth about I/DD about puberty
- Strategies to encourage safe and appropriate behaviors with friends, coworkers, or romantic interests
- Brainstorming strategies to promote “public vs private” behaviors
- Concerns about internet safety
- Questions about bodies, development, and relationships that one might feel embarrassed to ask a parent about
- Resources and support for someone who experienced or is experiencing interpersonal violence such as domestic violence or rape
A Plain Language Guide to the Internet
Workshops for the Community
We facilitate workshops for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and community members to learn about healthy relationship concepts such as:
- healthy sexuality
- trauma-informed care
We offer workshops to families and professionals so they may learn how to teach and reinforce these skills with the individuals that they support.
Healthy Relationships Drop-In Group
We have an on-going drop-in group for adults with I/DD age 18+, where we talk about dating and relationships. This is a casual setting with activities and conversation.
We meet every other Monday 5pm-6pm, excluding holidays.
Healthy Relationships School Program
We teach the Healthy Relationships School Program to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in high schools and transition programs throughout King County. Our curriculum focuses on understanding healthy interpersonal relationships as well as age-appropriate and medically accurate information about sexuality.
Education about healthy relationships gives students practical information to help them establish and respect boundaries so that they can have safe and healthy relationships with family, friends, coworkers, helpers and significant others.
This program teaches students broad concepts like positive decision-making and boundaries as well as nuanced information about sexual health, internet safety, and identifying and reporting abuse. In the classroom we learn about common values like respect, trust, choice, consent, and public vs. private behavior.
We offer information sessions for parents and caregivers, as well as letter home at the end of each unit, so that families can reinforce concepts at home. This program’s benefits go beyond friendships and romantic relationships, improving students’ self-esteem and empowering them to engage with their communities.
This is a 16-unit program is offered once or twice a week in hour long lessons with instruction provided in the students' classroom. We provide all materials and all instruction. The Healthy Relationships School Program is now being offered as a paid service, contact us for more information and pricing.
Buy the Curriculum
Healthy Relationships: A Sex Education and Relationship Skills Curriculum for Young Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is now available for purchase! Included in the curriculum is:
- Curriculum PDF with lesson plans and information on how to teach (print version coming soon)
- Slides for all 16 lessons
- Trusted Adult Letters, Introduction Letter and Opt-Out Form
- 1.5 to 3 hour training for teachers, para educators, and staff
For more information and pricing, please contact us.
Lillian Kirungi, Healthy Relationships Program Manager
Wesley Jones, Healthy Relationships Educator
Helen Thieme, Healthy Relationships Educator
The Arc of King County strives to provide accurate information in a timely manner, with the highest standard of professionalism. If you have any comments or concerns about the services you received from The Arc of King County, please contact Robin Tatsuda, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.829.7011
Sources and Funding
This program is funded in part by the Dan Thompson Grant. This program is in part adapted from the solutions-focused “Healthy Relationships” curriculum developed by Theresa Fears, MSW at The Arc of Spokane. This program is offered under Robin Tatsuda, MSW, Executive Director of The Arc of King County.