Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Medical Assistance Services
Board of Medical Assistance Services
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3/22/23  8:41 pm
Commenter: Rhonda R

Parents as Paid Caregivers for Disabled Children under Consumer Direct Model

Of all the awful experiences the pandemic brought, it stablized our single parent home by enabling me to become the paid caregiver to my own child. For years I have struggled to find appropriate and qualified attendants. Many, many times I had to leave my child with someone that I felt was less than adequate. Now, my efforts to find helpers has dried up. No qualified person is willing to work for such low pay ($12.70/hr in our area) and no benefits. I keep information in a spreadsheet on all the platforms where I advertise and details about the inquiries I get. The vast majority of applicants will not provide either a resume or local references. This says a lot to me about their intentions. I used to actually get to the interview stage for some of the applicants. Now, I get crickets because there are many more higher paying, less complex, easy-to-get jobs with hiring bonuses and benefits. How do I ever hope to compete with the workforce in its current state? These past two years at home with my child, being the paid attendant, have been sacred. I have been able to pour into his life in ways beyond what any paid attendant could have. I only have an aging parent to rely upon for extra help with my child. Because I had to give up EOR status and give it to her, she is now unable to be paid for her time. Unfortunately, my child's father died a few years ago. Even church family are not comfortable that they are qualified to supervise my child. So I bear the burden of keeping my child safe and nurtured. So many of us mothers have to leave the workforce to care for our children with extra needs. Having this financial support can help fill the gap in those cases. It will be devastating if we are no longer able to take advantage of the dollars already allocated to support our children. And to have to register with an agency to continue to be able to parent my own child is simply asking too much. Even our past attendants did not have to jump through those hoops. I ask that parents continue to be able to work under the consumer directed model. We simply do not need even more requirements on us than we already have in our over-extended lives. Thank you.

CommentID: 213088