Louisiana Self-Direction Orientation Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
What is Self-Direction? • A service delivery option in the New Opportunities Waiver (NOW) that gives you control of your supports and services. • It means that you are the employer and you are in charge of the staff who work for you. You decide what you want your staff to do, what kind of person you are looking for, and what their job description will be. • It also means that you have the responsibilities of an employer. You need to create a good work environment for your staff; set your staff’s schedule; authorize your staff’s time card so that they can get paid; let your staff know what you expect and what their job duties are; communicate effectively with your staff; and terminate your staff if necessary. • The Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities is committed to making this option available to the people it serves.
What services in the New Opportunities Waiver (NOW) can be self-directed? • Individual and Family Support (Day) • Individual and Family Support (Night)
Key Components of Self-Direction Purchasing Plan Fiscal Agent Support Coordination
What is a Purchasing Plan? • The purchasing plan is a tool which will help you set your staff’s hourly wage and benefits. • It will also help you purchase allowable employment-related expenditures, which are optional expenses that may include the cost of employee recruitment, employee training, copying, faxing, insurance, etc.
Fiscal Agent • The fiscal agent (FA) will take care of all the necessary functions to get your staff paid, such as payroll, bookkeeping, and processing taxes. • The fiscal agent (FA) will send reports of your spending to you. • The fiscal agent will pay only those expenses and services that are incorporated into your plan.
Your Support Coordinator… • Works with you to develop your plan of care and to connect you to the supports and services to implement your plan. • Support Coordination is an empowerment and facilitative process that assists people and their families through the planning process and supports them to remain in control of their plan. • Support Coordinators use dynamic person-centered planning processes to explore your vision and facilitate development of your plan of care. • Your support coordinator also maintains regular contact with OCDD and serves as your primary contact person with OCDD.
How does your plan fit into all this? • Your person-centered plan provides the framework for your supports and services. • Your plan will let people know who are; what your vision for the future is; what gifts and talents you can share with the world; and what outcomes you want to focus on for next year. • Your support coordinator will facilitate your planning. You, and the people you care, about will direct the content of what is included in your plan.
What are your responsibilities in Self-Direction? • To participate in your planning. • To find, manage, train, and supervise your staff. • To set wages and benefits for your employees within funds allocated for services. • To verify and submit your employees’ time cards. • To develop and implement backup service plans. • To participate in required training • To maintain your waiver eligibility.
With choice and control comes risk… The main issues you should be aware of are: • Workers compensation insurance will not be available. • Since you will be the boss you may have personnel issues to deal with from time to time. • You will be responsible for managing and organizing your own backup plans in the event an employee does not show up for work or when you need to replace an employee.
Congratulations….You’re an employer! • There is work and follow through involved, but in return you get to choose who will work for you, when they work, and what you want them to do. • In general, it will be important to ensure your staff complete all employment paperwork and for you to stay in touch with your Support Coordinator. • The following are some things you will want to be aware of as you start hiring your own staff: • Decide what qualities and qualifications are important to you in a staff person. • Make sure you arrange for training for your staff. • Make sure your staff know what is expected of them. • Make sure your staff know their work schedule. • Make sure your staff are aware of any “house rules,” such as no smoking etc. • Develop a job description for your staff.
What kind of person are you looking for? ---someone with a nursing background ---someone who can lift and transfer ---someone with a knowledge of wheelchairs ---someone who is punctual and reliable ---someone who is dependable ---someone with a driver’s license ---someone who has a car ---someone who shares your interests ---someone with a good sense of humor ---someone who is positive and upbeat ---someone who is quiet ---someone with good listening skills ---someone with good communication skills ---someone who lives in your neighborhood ---someone well connected to your community ---a mature person ---someone with experience ---someone new to this field ---a good cook ---someone with a knowledge of person- centered-planning ---someone who has weekday availability ---someone with evening availability ---someone with overnight availability ---someone with weekend availability ---other
What do you need your staff to do? ---to assist you to locate activities of interest in your community ---to help you get connected to various activities ---to help you get together with your friends ---to help you to meet new people ---to assist you when you entertain friends at your home ---to help you with personal hygiene activities (please list) ---to lift and transfer you ---to assist you with your medications ---to help you maintain your home ---to accompany you on appointments ---to assist you with managing your budget ---to help you with cooking ---to assist you with shopping ---to assist you with transportation ---to assist you with other activities of daily living (please list) ---to travel with you
Developing a job description… • Take those characteristics you are looking for in a staff person and put them under a section titled qualifications. • Then list out all the tasks you need your staff person to do and put them in a section titled responsibilities. • This will provide you with a basic job description.
Sample Job Description Title: Personal Assistant Reports to: Jasmin Doe Qualifications: This person must be well connected in their local community. They must be punctual and reliable and have a valid driver’s license. Available during morning hours. Responsibilities: *to support Jasmin in meeting new people *to help Jasmin to get out to her favorite activities *to assist Jasmin to locate new social and recreational activities of interest in her community *to transfer Jasmin out of bed in the morning *to assist with showering, dressing, and other activities as per morning routine *to assist with breakfast preparation *to accompany Jasmin on morning medical appointments
More on backup plans… • You need to have a backup plan in place in the event that your employee is sick, needs time off, or can’t make it to work. • When thinking about backup plans it is helpful to try to locate potential people in your neighborhood who will be able to get to you on short notice. Perhaps a neighbor who will be available strictly on an emergency basis or a family member who is readily available. Provider agencies may also be useful for backup staffing. • It is important to have these plans worked out before a situation arises in which you will need to use them.
Circle of Support • A circle of support is one way of pulling other resources into your life. It can help you to connect to natural supports in your community. • A circle of support is a group of people who care about you and have a personal (and sometimes professional) commitment to you. They will come together regularly and provide advice, guidance, and connections. Usually, a circle has a facilitator who helps to get it going and keep it running smoothly.
Live-in House Mates • Another option you may want to explore is a live-in house mate. In this scenario, a support person will live with you rent free or for reduced rent . In exchange, they will typically be available overnight and provide you with support at various other times.
If you are interested in Self-Direction… You should let your Support Coordinator know. Your support coordinator will inform OCDD of your decision.