Choosing Self-Directed Services
In recent years, more and more families have chosen to use our Self-Directed Services options for their family member. According to Area Agency Director Cynthia Mahar, “there are a variety of reasons more families are choosing this service option. Often times families hear about this arrangement from friends or other families in the area agency system. Another reason is because it allows families to hire a family member, neighbor, friend as their family managed employee. In today’s world where we face significant workforce shortages, being able to hire your own family or neighbor can make a big difference”.
In adult services, Self-Directed Services are often referred to as Participant Directed & Managed Services (PDMS) and for children living with their family it is referred to as the In Home Support Waiver. All services are funded through the NH Medicaid Community Care Waiver.
Currently, over 100 families are receiving PDMS Services. This service option supports the individual with developmental disabilities to remain living at home with their family. These services can support the family and individual with Personal Care Assistance, Community Activities and/or Participation, and/or Employment Support.
Cynthia said, “what makes this arrangement different from from more ‘traditional’ services is that the family works directly with their agency coordinator in developing and managing their services within their family member’s service budget. For some families this can involve taking on the responsibility and making the decisions on who they wish to hire as their Family Managed Employee, sets their rate of pay, and provides needed training & ongoing supervision. Others decide to contract with one of over twenty of Community Crossroads provider agencies, to provide some or all of those services. Families report that the PDMS service option allows them to custom tailor their family members’ services to their own unique interests and needs, as well as what work best for their family as a whole.”
Children under the age of 21 who live at home with their family are supported by the In-Home Support Waiver. This waiver supports the family and their child to develop and manage their services both in the home and in the community. “Services can involve developing basic personal and functional living skills, improving physical functioning, communication and relational skills, and to address challenging behaviors. As with the PDMS Services, families work within their service budget to design and manage their child’s services. This is another growing service option at our area agency and we currently support 25 families in this service option,” Cynthia said.