Many Individuals living with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) live with and are cared for by a Host Home Provider that is associated with a residential program such as that managed by Evergreen Service Providers. But sometimes, the needs and/or preferences of an Individual suggest that another situation may be suitable.
In 2008, Colorado passed the Family Caregiver Act, which was fully implemented in November 2010. This legislation provides broader choices for Individuals who are already receiving services funded by the Colorado Division for Developmental Disabilities (DDD), in terms of where and from whom services are received.
The IDD Individual may choose to have those services delivered by family members or an unrelated person(s) of their choice. They can be provided in the family home or another setting such as a group home, a personal care alternative/shared residence, or the Individual’s own home. As with all services to IDD Individuals, the model for this service option is person-centered, with consideration first for the wishes of the Individual, while providing expanded living options, choice of providers, and greater service flexibility.
Family members who are interested in acting as caregivers must receive the same training as other service providers, such as Host Home Providers, that are associated with residential programs. They must also fulfill the same documentation and monitoring requirements. The services provided must meet the Individual’s needs as specified in their annual Service Plan and identified by their Interdisciplinary Team (IDT). This support team will include the Individual, family members, friends, the Individual’s Case Manager, allies, advocates, providers, or anyone else the Individual chooses who can assist with decision-making on behalf of the Individual.
With appropriate training and certification, Family Caregivers can be reimbursed for services they provide to their IDD family members. They will typically work through a Program Approved Service Agency (PASA) or Community Centered Board (CCB) and must meet the requirements to be an employee or independent contractor, depending on how the agency is structured. The amount of funding available for family-provided services is based on the level of need identified for each Individual.
Not all family members qualify to serve as a Family Caregiver. Those who are considered to be legally responsible for another family member – such as the parent of a minor child or an Individual’s spouse – are not eligible to be paid caregivers through this model.
Housing for IDD Individuals, whether it is the family home or another residence, must meet certain Housing and Urban Development (HUD) quality standards to maintain a healthy and safe environment, including having adequate emergency exits. It must provide the freedom for IDD Individuals to go about their daily activities on their own to the extent they are able, and facilitate help with those activities when necessary.
Using a Family Caregiver can provide creative and flexible solutions for those Individuals who prefer or need alternatives to typical residential programs. If you as an Individual or family member are interested in pursuing this option, contact a Community Centered Board or Program Approved Service Agency such as Evergreen Service Providers. We’ll walk with you every step of the way.