• Senior Research Associate
  • Director of State Initiatives
+1 612-301-2545
Institute On Community Integration
Masonic Inst For The Developing Brain [map]
2025 E River Pkwy
Room 1-336
Minneapolis, MN 55414-3604

Rachel Freeman is the Director of State Initiatives for the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Freeman has been actively involved in positive behavior support (PBS), statewide technical assistance systems for evidence-based practices, evaluation design and implementation, and person-centered practices for over 25 years. She conducts research and provides consultation and technical assistance at the state, regional, and local levels to teams implementing PBS and other practices within intellectual and developmental disability organizations, education, juvenile justice, and mental health systems. Dr. Freeman has served as both a full and ex-officio member of the board of directors for the Association for Positive Behavior Support for over ten years and as president for three years. Her research interests include implementation factors associated with research to practice, PBS, physiological and biochemical factors related to problem behavior, online instructional systems, and interagency systems change.

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)



Minnesota DHS Systems Change and Capacity Building Through Research, Training, and Technical Assistance Projects

Conducts research, training and technical assistance activities that enhance Minnesota's capacity to support community living for individuals with disabilities and/or mental illness. Primary areas …


Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL)

Conducts a wide range of research, training, and technical assistance and dissemination projects related to community supports under its center grant and related project funding. The RTC-CL is …


Maryland Statewide Technical Assistance Project on Organization-Wide Positive Behavior Support

This project aims to create a common language and set of strategies for implementing positive behavior support across Maryland to increase quality of life and prevent challenging behaviors statewid…


Studying Service Quality Issues and Shortages of Providers, and Expanding Access to Waiver Intervention and Respite Services

This project surveys community providers, data sources, and community partners to assess the current barriers to meeting the needs and expanding service access for people with co-occurring behavior…


Impact: Feature Issue on Person-Centered Positive Supports and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

An issue in the newly-redesigned Impact series that shares articles from around the country describing how person-centered positive supports use evidence-based practices in the service of the …

Published: Summer 2016

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Using a Team Approach to Build on Person-Centered Practices (#2)

This module tells how to create a team who will improve services. There are many different types of HCBS, which means that teams will look different across providers. This module helps you consider…

Published: 8/27/2021

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Making Person-Centered Practices a Part of Everyday Work (#6)

Successful teams include new person-centered ideas in the meetings, work routines, and trainings that already occur within HCBS. This module will share how teams have been able to work smarter, …

Published: 8/27/2021

Putting the pieces together: Perceptions of longitudinal wraparound, systems of care, and Positive Behavior Support implementation

Positive Behavior Support (PBS) was introduced to community-based providers in Kansas in 2012 in response to a federally funded initiative to reduce the placement of youth in psychiatric facilities…

Published: 2019-03-25

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Creating an Action Plan (#5)

Once the assessment is complete, teams will choose a simple set of actions that can be completed by working smarter, not harder, and by considering the work that is already being done within the …

Published: 8/27/2021

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Assessing Your Organization’s Strengths and Needs (#4)

Each HCBS provider is unique. A completed assessment will reflect the strengths of existing services as well as what can be done to improve outcomes for people. Different approaches are used to …

Published: 8/27/2021

Adapting positive behavioural support technical assistance strategies to the 'new normal' emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic

This paper discusses strategies to deliver person-centered, positive behavior supports that were employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published: 2020-11-01

Supervisory and Administrative Staff's Perspectives of Self-directed Supports for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Background: Self-directed supports (SDS) are a model of disability service delivery that focuses on supporting increased decision-making authority and budget autonomy for people with disabilities …

Published: 2021

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Confirming Readiness (#3)

The team assesses how ready the staff and people supported are in working together to improve HCBS. Everyone is involved in improving outcomes for HCBS. For this reason, it is important to make …

Published: 8/27/2021

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Evaluating Person-Centered Practices Over Time (#7)

Providers are already expected to report on HCBS outcomes related to people receiving services. The goal of this module is to help teams consider what data are already being collected, brainstorm …

Published: 8/27/2021

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Overview of the Minnesota Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Modules for Person-Centered Organizations (#1)

This module provides an overview for improving person-centered outcomes in HCBS. Major terms are introduced and details about the training are described. The goal is not to teach how to master a …

Published: 8/27/2021

HCBS Modules for Person-Centered Organizations: Problem-Solving When Person-Centered Related Challenges Occur (#8)

Every provider experiences challenges while providing HCBS. These challenges make it harder to improve person-centered outcomes. This module explains how staff attrition, lack of resources, and …

Published: 8/27/2021

Resource Guide for Developing and Implementing Skill-Building Plans

This resource guide is intended to be used by teams leading organization-wide positive support or teams providing individual positive supports with children or adults. The purpose of this guide is …

Published: 2024


  • Education practices (K12 and transition)
    • Family engagement
    • Transition planning
    • Positive behavior support
  • Community life
    • Person-centered planning and practices
    • Positive behavior support
    • Quality outcomes
  • Housing and residential services
    • Community group residential
    • Family supports/in-home services