Programs at Bear Creek Services

We understand that people with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries are unique individuals.  For this reason, we use a person-centered approach in order to find the program that suits the needs of each person.

Click the tabs below to learn about each of the programs we offer:


Group Homes

We provide the right mix of independence, security and support for them to thrive and reach their full potential.

Our group home program features:

  • Home Life: Direct care staff help residents eat right, exercise regularly, and progress with their physical and psychological therapy programs in a supportive home environment. 
  • Employment and Daytime Activities: Residents are encouraged to work and interact with the community as much as possible. We have employment partnerships with ABC and PossAbilities, and Opportunity Services.  We can also assist with transportation if they have no other means of getting to and from their workplace.
  • Recreational Opportunities: Staff provide many recreational activities to suit residents’ interests such as going to parks, bowling, fishing, camping, dancing, and just hanging out.
  • In-Home Support: At least one staff member is present whenever residents are home during the day.   Our direct support professionals are trained with the knowledge needed to assist our residents with activities while respecting their dignity as adults.
  • Health Services: A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is assigned to each group.  LPN's assist with medical and dental appointments. The LPNs are supervised by the Health Services Director (HSD), who is a Registered Nurse. We emphasize a proactive approach to healthcare.  All health-related notes are reviewed in real time by the HSD. The staff is on-call 24 hours per day to answer questions and address any health situations that arise.
  • Contact with Parents & Guardians: Residents’ parents and guardians are included as much as possible when planning for an individual's services.  We realize that the resident, and their family, are the people who best understand what a resident needs. 
  • Community Education Classes: Residents are encouraged to take advantage of community education class or workshop that may help them become more independent.  This may include cooking, cleaning, or other independent living skills.

Contact Bear Creek Services about group home availability today at (507) 288 - 7195 or

Bear Creek Independent Living Services Program  (BCILS)

The BCILS program can help your client or loved one transition from living in a family or group home, into living on their own.  We provide the life skills training necessary and practice them in real-life settings.

In the BCILS program, your client or loved one will reside in a temporary home with trained staff while they are taught a variety of life skills:

  • Money management
  • Home maintenance
  • Safety
  • Cooking
  • Medication management
  • Community involvement
  • Socialization skills
  • Many other skills as needed - each program is unique to fit the needs of the person enrolling.


BCILS Success Stories

At present, we have several successful graduates who are now living more independent lives in the Rochester community.

Christina, who graduated from Barton Place I in 2013 and currently lives in her own apartment is a shining example of what individuals with disabilities can achieve when given the proper environment and support services.

Click here to:  read more about Christina’s journey through BCILS from her mom’s perspective.

Click here to read:  Rochester Area Foundation Article on BCILS


Frequently Asked Questions About BCILS

How does someone enroll in BCILS?

To enroll your loved one in BCILS, their case manager must contact the BCILS Program Director at or 507-288-7195. During this initial discussion, we will schedule a tour of the training apartment and provide more detailed information. If the team believes BCILS would be a good experience for your loved one, your loved one will be placed on the waiting list.

How old are BCILS program participants?

Your client or loved one must be at least 18 years old to enroll in the program.

How long is someone typically enrolled in BCILS? 

Most people are enrolled between 4–6 months, though some stay longer or shorter depending upon how they progress in the program. The goal is not to get someone out as soon as possible, but to make sure your client or loved one has mastered the skills necessary for success when living independently.

What happens to the person enrolled upon graduation from the program? 

Participants typically move into their own apartment and live by themselves or with a roommate if they choose.  

Is any assistance provided to the person enrolled after they graduate? 

If your client or loved one needs some extra assistance when they move into their own place, Bear Creek Services can provide supplemental support services to help them maintain their independence.

How are the skill of enrollees tested and measured?

We assess your client or loved one’s independent living skills through observation in real-life settings. Skill sets are rated on a 4-point scale where 1point means the individual needs total assistance and 4 points means the person can complete skills independently. Your client or loved one will be tested within the first 2-4 weeks and periodically reassessed with a final assessment before they graduate from the program.

How is the program staffed? 

Staff members are present during the day when enrollees are not at work.  There is also an overnight staff who has their own room in the apartment unit. The Barton Place I apartment for women is all female-staffed, and the Barton Place II apartment for men is all male-staffed.

Do staff do things for participants, or are participants completely on their own?

Staff are there to assist, mentor, and teach BCILS enrollees to do things as independently as possible. The goal is for your client or loved one to become self-reliant, though staff will help as needed.

What financial requirements are in place for enrollment in the program?  

Your client or loved one will need some form of income to pay rent and purchase items such as food, hygiene products and clothes that are necessary to meet their living needs.

Are people’s families involved at all during the process? 

Participants’ families are very much involved in the process as you are an important part of the team that monitors your loved one’s progress. Since you have extensive first-hand knowledge of your loved one’s strengths and difficulties, we rely on your help to determine when they are ready to move onto the next step of the program.

How much training does staff receive who teach life skills to participants?

Staff members who work at BCILS go through an intensive training process that includes first aid, CPR, medication administration, and principles of person-centered training.

Who can I contact for more information about BCILS or learn about upcoming openings? 

For more information about BCILS program please contact us at or call us at (507) 288-7195.

In-home Support Services

If your client or loved one is already living in a home of their own, but still needs some assistance, our in-home support services may be the support they need to lead fuller, more independent lives.  The In-Home Support programs are designed to provide varying levels of support that align with our clients’ individual goals.

Contact Bear Creek Services today at (507) 288 – 7195 or to learn more about how we can help your client or loved one thrive while living on their own.

In-Home Support Program

Your client will receive between 2-6 hours of assistance each week, as determined by the Olmsted County Community Services Department. The specifics of the program are based on your loved one’s individual needs.

Some skills include:

  • Cooking
  • Budgeting
  • Managing medication
  • Cleaning
  • Using public transportation
  • Other skills are coached as needed

While participants have often recently graduated from the Bear Creek Independent Living Services program (BCILS), your client or loved one is not required to enter BCILS to enter the In-Home Support program.

Supplemental Independent Living Skills Program (SILS)

In the SILS program, your client or loved one would live in a personal or family home.  Each person will receive between 5-10 hours of assistance each week, as determined by the Olmsted County Social Services Department.

The goal of the Supplemental Independent Living Skill Program is to teach independent living skills.  SILS is less time-intensive than the BCILS program, and your client or loved one can learn new skills at their own pace.

Some skills include:

  • Cooking
  • Budgeting
  • Managing medication
  • Cleaning
  • Using public transportation
  • Other skills are coached as needed


Parks & Recreation Partnership



We host a variety of programs including:

  • After-School Program for children who have developmental disabilities
  • Teen Scene
  • Young Adults Night
  • Movies, Music and More
  • Adaptive Girl Scouts
  • Youth Karate
  • Music Therapy
  • Weekend Drop-in Program


If you would like more information about which programs might be appropriate for your client or loved one, contact us at or call us at (507) 288-7195.







LIC seal

Bear Creek Services has been certified as a "Best In America Charity" by Independent Charities of America.

CLICK HERE to learn more!


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Lunch With A Purpose

Click the link for dates!

Bear Creek Services Office

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Wines of the World

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Rochester International Event Center

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Bear Creek Cookie Classic

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Bear Creek Services Building

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TO BAKE! We are looking for volunteer bakers (individuals and groups)! Last ... Learn More