The questionnaire below will help you determine if becoming a family care home provider is the best choice for you now, but sometimes what you really want is to talk to someone who can answer your questions. And, we love questions!
You will be opening your heart and house to an individual who will need your support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and in most cases, 365 days a year. When you agree to become a Family Care Provider, you are promising to enhance and enrich this person’s life through love, support, dedication, and community immersion and this involves an investment of your time. Individuals in this service have meetings, appointments and activities that will require you to transport and accompany them. It is important to match an individual with similar lifestyle preferences and needs to that of your family.
Just as the children and other family members in your life need a lot of attention, so will the individual you bring into your home. This decision will also affect everyone in your home, so be sure that everyone in the family is on board with adding another member and that your family is aware of the changes that might occur. You will need to have at least one assistant to support you in this job in the event that you need to be away or are sick. Your assistant will need to participate in all the paperwork and training that you, as the Family Care Provider will complete.
Family Care Providers must be at least 21 years of age and have a valid driver license with a good driving record. The applicant and any other adult over the age of 18 living in the home must also have a criminal background check and child and adult protective services registry search. All people residing in the house must have a TB screening that shows they are free of tuberculosis.
The individuals we serve must have their own room that is at least 80 square feet with a window and/or air conditioning, have access to a bathroom that is not accessed by going through another bedroom, have a clean uncluttered environment, and have access to all public areas of the house. Do you have one bathroom for every 4 people in the house? Do you have fewer than seven people living in your house or staying over regularly?
To become a Family Care Provider, you must show that you have enough money to support your household for three months. This means you need to have enough in savings, checking or credit to cover all your living expenses and bills for three months. Proof of these resources will be collected from you initially and then annually. These resources have to be owned/possessed by the person being licensed to be the Family Care provider. They cannot be in anyone else’s name.
The trainings required include CPI, CPR/First aid, Medication administration, Human Rights, Direct Support Professional certification, and documentation. You will be offered these trainings through Lutheran Family Services of VA. You may be required to travel to these trainings, which are offered at various locations. There will be annual recertification and travel may be required for those as well.
At a minimum, applicants need to have at least six months direct experience working with persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities or a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Social Work, Special Education or related field. We look for families who have worked with or volunteered with organizations that have supported individuals with disabilities. We require a general knowledge of what disabilities are and how to properly support and care for individuals who have disabilities. We require a resume and three professional references to verify this background.
You will be representing Lutheran Family Services of Virginia in your work as a Family Care Provider. You will be required to interact with other provider agencies and community resource agencies on behalf of the individual in this service. You must be reliable and have good organizational skills to be successful as a Family Care Provider. There are daily writing requirements to describe the supports that the individual received and to track their growth and learning. You will be given training on how to carry out Individual Service Plan outcomes and the correct way to document the individual’s progress. Computer skills and email communication are required for coordinating information on behalf of the individual.
You will be assigned an LFSVA manager who will support you in your role of FCP. Your manager will make monthly visits to your home to check on the physical environment, the well-being of the individual you are supporting and to ensure that the required daily documentation is up to date. They will also provide resource information to you and guidance when issues arise. Each individual receiving services also has a support coordinator from the Community Services Board or Behavioral Health Agency who will have at least quarterly face to face meetings with the individual to ensure their well-being and satisfaction with the services that they are receiving.
What if the match is not working? It is our hope that each Family Care Provider placement will be a long-term one. We examine very closely the needs of the FCP and the needs of the individual seeking services. There will be meetings between you and the individual as well as trial visits to ensure that both the FCP and the individual needing the service are a good match. Even with this time and effort to ensure a good match, there are circumstances that may arise that would require the individual to leave the FCP’s home. When this occurs, every effort is then made to find an alternative placement as quickly as possible. This can take days or weeks to carry out. You must be aware of this and be prepared to work with your manager and the individual’s support coordinator to ensure that the individual makes a smooth transition from your home to another living situation.
To find out more about what is involved in becoming a Family Care Home and the salary, please call 1.800.359.3834 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome your calls and questions.