This service offers 24-hour support and supervision in clean, healthy, safe family settings where no more than two individuals receive services, and provides “foster care” settings for individuals with intellectual disabilities or developmental disabilities who are 18 years or older. We carefully screen and license qualified families and individuals to provide services in their home as contracted employees. This service uses a person-centered approach to encourage individuals to realize their dreams. Skill-building is provided in order to help the individual(s) meet their medical, dietary, behavioral, personal care and daily living needs.
but her son’s health challenges caused her to miss a lot of work. She felt as though she wasn’t doing a good job as either a caregiver or an employee.
Cheryl eventually discovered that her son, who has intellectual and developmental disabilities, was eligible for the Medicaid waiver that would pay for much-needed services. For families who need help caring for a loved one, the waiver is a godsend, but one that can take years to materialize.
Her son, now 20 years old, was eventually approved. With funding from the Medicaid waiver, she is able to care for him full time by being a “sponsored residential provider” through Lutheran Family Services of Virginia.
“It has truly changed both his life and mine,” says Cheryl, who became a provider in 2011. “We are able to do so much more together. Getting a waiver can be a long process, but the end result is well worth it.”
“There is a little bit of confusion about how sponsored residential care works,” says Jama Schubert, Assistant Director of Developmental Services with Lutheran Family Services. “It is similar to foster care for adults with disabilities, but it can also be an option for families, who are often best suited to provide care.” Schubert adds that it is both better and much less costly for individuals and their families to be served in their own community rather than in institutional settings.
A family member is reimbursed the same as a non-relative sponsored residential caregiver would be in accordance to the number of service hours that the individual requires, which depends on the individual’s needs. Schubert says that for a parent or relative to be considered as a sponsored residential provider, the individual needing care and the circumstances must meet certain criteria set forth by the state.
Becoming a sponsored family brings with it requirements for training, licensure and documentation. Providers also help develop and follow an individual support plan for the individual and meet monthly with the agency administering the program.
Sponsored residential care can also be a lifeline for individuals with intellectual disabilities with no immediate family and who are at risk of being institutionalized. Lutheran Family Services recruits and screens families who have experience and training in supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities to help them meet their personal goals and achieve as much independence as possible in all areas of daily living, health, and leisure.
discovered that one of the school’s students was at risk of leaving the school system and entering an institution, he immediately asked his own family about having the young man come and live with them.
Because his wife and son had met the individual through Brooks’ work and because of his experience with children with intellectual disabilities, the family was well-suited to become a sponsor family. And icing on the cake was the fact that the Brooks’ son was about the same age as the individual who now resides with them and has become a valued role model.
In the Brooks’ home, their individual joins right in with family activities and the good-natured laughing and joking. “We treat him as our own family,” says Mrs. Brooks. “The best thing about being a sponsored residential provider is that we get to be someone else’s blessing and share our life with someone who otherwise wouldn’t have that.”
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