CHAI Works, our licensed and certified community-based day service, helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities become more independent, pursue individual goals, and engage in productive, meaningful activity.

JF&CS is a licensed and certified community-based day service vendor of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS, formerly DMR).

Program locations include:

CHAI Works Waltham CHAI Works South
1430 Main Street
Waltham, MA
100 Washington Street
Canton, MA

CHAI Works helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities become more independent, pursue individual goals, and experience the gratification of meaningful, productive activity throughout the week by providing community-integrated day programming that builds skills and reflects the interests of participants. From its inception in 2006, CHAI Works has offered day programming that emphasizes community integration through volunteering and other activities that provide daily opportunities for community interactions. Over the years, staff have continuously adjusted program offerings, adding community volunteer sites, activities, and partnerships that respond to the evolving skills and interests of the participants. Participants benefit from the variety of activities offered, which afford them the opportunity to make choices and develop their individual interests.

CHAI Works participants and staff volunteer in groups and contribute more than 650 hours of service per week at more than 20 community partner organizations. Our participants are social activists helping their community in the areas of interest they choose. New areas are added as the interests of our participants grow and change.

Creating these partnerships with community nonprofit organizations gives our participants a chance to shine and to showcase their skills, talents, and abilities. It provides a variety of experiences that help our participants learn about themselves, build skills, and improve their resumes. Community partners count on CHAI Works to help them serve the community while JF&CS staff assess participants’ learning styles, focus, job skills, soft skills, and interests on an ongoing basis.

Health and wellness activities are offered through our corporate membership at local YMCA branches. CHAI Works has access to the facilities on a daily basis. We offer groups about fitness, health, cooking, and safety. We also have specialized instructors running weekly classes in dance, martial arts, and yoga.

We offer morning and afternoon classes and groups that focus on participant interests including self-advocacy, job skills, academics, the arts, and interpersonal skills. Some of these include voting education and registration, reviewing news and current events, money and math skills, science, book club, foreign languages, music appreciation, talent show, gardening, and more. Technology is used whenever possible to increase participation and comprehension.


Participants eligible for the CHAI Works Day Program are generally funded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS, formerly DMR) although private pay options are available. To keep all participants safe within our program model and staffing ratios, participants must be able to be successfully supported in a 1:6 staff to participant ratio in the community, our vehicles, and our program settings without the need for continuous direction. Participants need to be able to use the bathroom on their own and complete other activities of daily living, stay with the group, and not aggress towards others. Participants utilize the RIDE to get to and from our program; our staff can provide guidance to obtain approval for RIDE services.

For more information about our programs, call 781-647-JFCS (5327) or email your questions via our contact us page.