When a child with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) reaches age 18, there are decisions for families to make around where their adult child will reside and receive care. There are several choices including a group home or the residence of a Host Home Provider. But family caregiving options are available as well, which allow the Individual to reside with a family member or even have services provided in their own home.
In 2008, Colorado passed the Family Caregiver Act, which was fully implemented in November 2010. This legislation provides broader choices of residential care for Individuals who are already receiving services funded by the Colorado Division for Developmental Disabilities (DDD).
This option, as is the case with the Host Home Provider program, is overseen by a Program Approved Service Agency (PASA) such as Evergreen Service Providers, and gives the IDD Individual the option to remain at home with a family member as their caregiver.
With appropriate training and certification, Family Caregivers are reimbursed for services they provide to their IDD family members. Our Family Caregivers FAQs page will guide you through some of the most common questions you might have regarding becoming a caregiver to your IDD family member. In general, families will typically work through a 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. Family caregivers must be capable of providing the services specified in the Individual’s annual Service Plan, which have been identified by their interdisciplinary team (IDT). This support team typically includes the Individual, family members, friends, the Individual’s Case Manager, allies, advocates, providers, and anyone else the Individual chooses to assist with decision-making on their behalf. The amount of funding available for family-provided services is based on the level of need identified for each Individual.
Family members who are interested in acting as caregivers must receive the same training and attain the same certification as other service providers that are associated with residential programs, such as Host Home Providers. They must also fulfill the same documentation and monitoring requirements. 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 – which, as with all services to IDD individuals, is person-centered.
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.
The Family Caregiver option can provide creative, flexible solutions for those Individuals who prefer or need alternatives to typical residential programs, and can serve to bring families closer together in this time when those closer connections can be comforting and healing for all concerned. To learn more, visit our Family Caregivers FAQs page, or contact a Community Centered Board or Program Approved Service Agency such as Evergreen Service Providers.