I write because I am opposed to the changes being proposed to the Consumer Direct Care program which allows parents to take care of their children. The legislation being proposed will negatively impact parents of children with disabilities and their children. There is a sacrifice that continues to be made when parents take care of their children. Also, no parent will become rich based on the pay scale for home care workers in the state of Virginia. Parents continue to take care of their children because it is based on the needs and the safety of the child. Children under the best circumstances are not able to report if anything happens to them. A child with a disability often is unable to do the same. If the program is forced into agency directed programs with 40 hr. caps, no overtime and no respite, it relegates the program into an ineffective program. Agencies will now be in charge of services for that child. Agencies will also place limitations on the parents. Agencies are short staffed, and services will be further limited. Opportunities for the child to be able to be in the community without the concern of being mistreated, will only exist with the parent present. Parents should have the right to not only take care of their child, which they know very well but have the opportunity to give their child the best life they can. Parental compensation is minimal.
Please do not cut the Consumer Directed Program overall; Please do not cut the hours of parents who continue to sacrifice for their children; Please do not cap the hours of parents who take care of their children; Please do not prevent parents from being able to fully serve the needs of their children. Please continue this waiver without any limitation, nor modifications nor elimination of services.