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 individuals to thrive and reach their full potential.

Our group home program features:

  • Home Life: Direct care staff help individuals eat right, exercise regularly, and progress with their physical and psychological therapy programs in a supportive home environment. 
  • Employment and Daytime Activities: Individuals 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 there are no other means of getting to and from their workplace.
  • Recreational Opportunities: Staff provide many recreational activities to suit individuals’ 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 an individual is home during the day, unless their program dictates that they get a few hours of alone time during the week. 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 home.  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: Parents and guardians are included as much as possible when planning for an individual's services.  We realize that the individual, and their family members, are the people who best understand what supports are needed. 
  • 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 individuals 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, people 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 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 in BCILS, a case manager must contact the BCILS Program Director at or 507-288-7195.  If the team believes BCILS would be a good fit, individuals are then placed on the waiting list.

How old are BCILS program participants?

People must be at least 18 years old to enroll in the program.

How long is someone typically enrolled in BCILS? 

There is no set time limit.  The goal is to help people master the skills necessary for successful independent living.

How are the skill of enrollees tested and measured?

We assess individuals' independent living skills through observation in real-life settings. Skill sets are rated on a 4-point scale where 1 point means the individual needs total assistance, and 4 points means the person can complete skills independently. Individuals 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 as each program participant's personal plan indicates.  There is also an overnight staff who is available when needed.

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

Staff are there to assist, mentor, and teach BCILS program enrollee to do things as independently as possible. The goal is for individuals to become self-reliant, though staff will help as needed.

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

Individuals 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 they are an important part of the team that monitors the progress being made. Since family members have extensive first-hand knowledge of their loved one’s strengths and difficulties, we rely on the help from families to determine when individuals 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 you know of an individual who 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 more independent lives.  The In-Home Support program is designed to provide varying levels of support that align with each person's goals.

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

In-Home Support Program

Individuals 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




Semi-Independent Living Skills Program (SILS)


In the SILS program, individuals live in their own home, or their family's 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 SILS Program is to teach independent living skills.  SILS is less time-intensive than the BCILS program, and individuals will learn new skills at their own pace.

Some skills include:

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









LIC seal

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

CLICK HERE to learn more!


Holiday Gift Wish List --- 2022

21 November , 2022

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The Upcoming Election Is Important!

28 October , 2022

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Holiday Gift Wish List --- 2021

25 October , 2021

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November 2020 Happenings at Bear Creek Services!

29 October , 2020

Words from Linda Driessen; Executive Director The wheelchair accessible van we recently purchased f... Learn More


Walk and Roll

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Lunch With A Purpose

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Bear Creek Services Office

You are invited! "Lunch with a Purpose" explains what Bear Creek Services does, and how the... Learn More

Wines of the World

May 13, 2022

Rochester International Event Center

Wines of the World will be an in-person event in 2022! Sponsorship Opportunities: As a fundraiser for... Learn More

Bear Creek Cookie Classic

No 2020 Event

Bear Creek Services Building

Saturday, December 10th from 8 AM - 11 AMBear Creek Services --- 3108 Highway 52 North, Rochester MN 5... Learn More