It’s hard to think of an aspect of life that hasn't changed dramatically since the pandemic started. These changes can be especially grueling for children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, as many services and supports have been harder to access.
Fortunately, the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) now offers a new way to support families. Last year, DDD announced that parents of minors could become Temporary Direct Care Workers for their children. The purpose of this option was to give parents (or guardians) another way to ensure that their child receives Habilitation or Attendant Care services without having outside providers come into the home. Since parents cannot work another job while providing these services for their child, DDD allows parents/guardians to be paid for providing these services as a TDCW.
Parents of adult children have always been allowed to provide these services for their own children, but allowing it for parents of minors is new. At the moment, this provision is only temporary during the COVID-19 emergency period. However, AHCCCS has submitted a request to the federal government to extend this opportunity through at least the end of 2023.
If you are interested in becoming a Temporary Direct Care Worker for your child, AZA United can help. Here is an overview of the requirements:
The TDCW role is specifically for parents/guardians of children under 18. Siblings and other family members can also be hired as a Habilitation & Respite Provider, as long as they are at least 18 years old. Parents/guardians cannot provide respite services, but other family members can. Of course, the child needs to be approved for the service through DDD first. If the service is not on the child’s service plan, the DDD Support Coordinator will need to assess for service before adding it to the child’s planning document.
No additional experience is required for parents/guardians. Your experience with your child is sufficient for the state’s standard experience requirements.
It depends on the service you are providing. For example, if you are ONLY providing Attendant Care services to your child who resides in the same household, then no Fingerprint Clearance Card is required by DDD.
However, DDD requires that anyone providing Habilitation services apply for a Fingerprint Clearance Card. The application fee is $75, and applicants are responsible for covering the cost. Applicants must use a specific company for fingerprinting. AZA United can help you complete this process quickly and easily.
As a Qualified Vendor Agency with DDD and a family-focused nonprofit organization, AZA United has taken several steps to streamline the process to help parents become Temporary Direct Care Workers for their children. We have posted a Parents FAQ document online with more details. We host a free virtual Article 9 training class (which is required by DDD) and can help you find a low-cost CPR/First Aid certification class (which is also required).
In addition, AZA United has established enhanced pay rates for parent providers and created more flexibility by classifying them as independent contractors.
Habilitation: The rate for Habilitation is $16.00 per hour.
Attendant Care: The rate for Attendant Care is $14.00 per hour.
Our Family Support Team is available to answer any questions you might have regarding this opportunity. To get the process started, complete the Parent Provider Application and someone from our team will follow up with you right away.
AZA United offers a wide range of services and therapies for individuals, families, schools and the community. Our team of experienced clinicians works in partnership with you to achieve our mission of helping as many families as possible with individualized supports.