Do you have room in your heart and in your home?
If your answer to this question is “Yes!” you might want to consider becoming a contracted Home Provider with Living Innovations.
We match people with disabilities to compassionate caregivers who would like to provide support for someone in their home. In exchange for including an individual in their extended family and helping them with daily living tasks as needed, our Home Providers receive a generous stipend and training and support from the Living Innovations team. Many of our Home Providers tell us “This experience is so rewarding that I get more out of it than I put into it.”
For more information about becoming a Home Provider – Apply Now and one of our specialists will be in touch with you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming A Home Provider:
What Is A Home Provider?
A Home Provider is a person, who may be part of a couple or family, who agrees to share their home with someone with a disability. Generally speaking, Home Providers assume responsibility for life-sharing, as well as home sharing. That is, they provide much of the support that the person needs and desires.
Who Can Be A Home Provider?
Anyone with a spare room in their home, who is over the age of eighteen, in good general health and willing to be part of a team to help provide support to a person with a disability can apply to be a Home Provider. You may be married or single, with or without children, male or female, young or old, employed or not. Applicants are required to pass criminal and motor vehicle background checks, have a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation, auto insurance and a high school diploma or equivalency.
I’ve Never Done Anything Like This Before. Will I Be Considered If I Have No Experience?
Although it is always a benefit to have experience in serving persons with developmental disabilities, or in human services in general, we do not feel that it is the most important attribute in a potential provider. Qualities such as patience, common sense and a genuine acceptance of the person with the disability are highly valued.
Very successful situations have resulted when a person with no experience other than perhaps raising his/her own children has become a provider. Everyone is welcome to apply!
Whose Home Is It?
The Home Provider must be the owner or lease holder of the house or apartment that will be the Shared Living home. The expectation is that the home is truly shared by all who live in it and that the person with a disability doesn’t become a mere boarder.
How Are Individuals Matched With Home Providers?
Potential Home Providers complete a questionnaire that we will provide. This will give us some insight into you and your lifestyle. The individuals looking for a Home Provider have given us some ideas about what they would like and need. The responses to the Home Provider questionnaire help us to determine, very generally, likely matches between people. However, personal interviews will also be conducted to get to know your needs, preferences, daily routine, outside responsibilities and life experiences. It is crucial to gain as much information as possible in order to pursue a possible match. Once the possibility of a match is determined, you and the individual with a disability, their family and/or guardian and a representative of our agency will meet. Decisions are then made by the individual and/or guardian, as well as yourself, whether to proceed or search for another match. If the decision is made to proceed, more meetings will be arranged for you to get to know each other. This period may last anywhere from one to three months, depending on the people involved and the urgency of the person’s residential situation. It is usually undesirable for a placement decision to be made in less than one month from the first meeting. As long as all parties are content at the end of this period of time, necessary moving plans may begin.
Note that becoming qualified as a Home Provider does not guarantee that somebody will be placed in your home within any specific timeframe. Placement options are based on the referrals that we receive. It could be weeks, or more likely months, before someone is placed in the home.
Can I Work And Be A Home Provider, Too?
It is possible to work and be a provider; however, certain criteria must be met. You must be available to transport the individual to and from their job or daytime activity. Additionally, providers are generally responsible for covering client illnesses and occasional staff absences.
You also have to consider the time and energy needed to maintain regular employment and support an individual with disabilities at home. While this is a personal decision, it must be understood that our agency’s primary concern is for the people we serve and that their well-being is our priority.
Note that there are some instances where an individual’s needs are such that it would likely be incompatible with work outside of the home. These factors are carefully considered during the matching process for compatibility with your lifestyle.
Do I Get Time Off?
Individuals placed in Shared Living generally have jobs or other daytime activities, so the Home Provider is not ordinarily “on duty” while the person they support is out of the home for these scheduled activities. The amount of time in scheduled activities outside of the home varies from one individual to another. Even when not “on duty”, Home providers are always “on call”—for example, if an individual were to need to come home due to illness and require supervision, the Home Provider would need to be able to provide it.
You may get “time off”during hours that you would ordinarily be scheduled in two ways:
If the person living with you is able to spend some time independently, then “time off” is inherent in the situation. If the individual requires 24-hour supervision, a respite plan can be created. Often our providers arrange their own relief; we also assist in finding respite providers. Many providers do respite for one another as a way to cut down on respite costs. Either way, your contract is developed with the recognition that you and the individual with whom you live will need time away from each other occasionally.
Please be aware that our agency needs to know with whom the person is staying in respite situations.
How Will I Be Paid?
Each situation varies. You may receive rent or a room and board payment. And you will receive a biweekly payment upon submitting a required invoice and progress notes about the individual living with you.
The money you receive as a Home Provider is generally not taxable income. You are not considered an employee of Living Innovations; you will enter into a Contractual
Agreement as an Independent Contractor. Living Innovations does not provide insurance coverage or other employee benefits to Home Providers.
Note: Respite may be taxable and a tax professional should be consulted regarding how these payments may impact you and your benefits. We are not financial consultants and cannot provide any specific advice.
As A Home Provider, Who Is My Support Team?
Home Providers work as part of a team around the person with a disability. Other team members include the person, family members, friends, co-workers, staff people, a Case Manager and a Community Living Coordinator from Living Innovations who will make regular visits to the home as well as be available to you on an as-needed basis.
Will I Get Any Training?
Living Innovations offers an Orientation and instruction according to a state required curriculum to get you started. Also, you will receive training in Medication Administration, as this is a requirement of state regulatory agencies. Medication Training is a class designed to familiarize you with the different kinds of medications you may need to give your housemate, either regularly or on occasion, and safety issues involved in handling medications. Other trainings may be required based on the team’s assessment of what is needed to support the individual placed in your home.
Throughout the time that you are a Home Provider, you will be offered other opportunities to attend training on a variety of topics that will enhance your experience as a provider. You will also be able to access a support person assigned to your household, should you need questions answered.
I’m Not Sure I’m Interested, But Would Like To Investigate Further. What Should I Do?
We can introduce you to other Providers/Roommates. You could meet a person who may be looking for a Provider or Roommate and get to know him/her. We can arrange for you to provide Respite in order to get a sense of home sharing. In determining whether a potential home provider is appropriate for one of the people we serve, we would look at the following:
- The application, including references, and the following background check requirements: criminal record and motor vehicle driving record, Adult Protective Services, Child Protective Services, and Medicaid fraud. **Note that all adults in the household (over the age of 18) must successfully meet background check requirements.
- The applicant’s motivation and capacity to provide support
- General cleanliness
- Any safety hazards
- Any architectural barriers
- Adequacy of the following – lighting – ventilation – hot and cold water – plumbing – electricity – heat – furniture, including beds – sleeping arrangements
- The number of floors, the location of bedrooms, and, if bedrooms are on the 2nd floor, the availability of two means of exit
- The willingness and capacity of the provider to manage required paperwork. It is not enough simply to share your life and home; there is a fair amount of paperwork to be completed on a timely basis
- Property and Homeowner’s liability insurance
- Automobile insurance
- Capacity and willingness to dispense medications according to policy
- Willingness and motivation to include the person in your life, to assist him/her to be a part of the community
What Other Kinds Of Information Will You Need From Me?
We will give you a list of the documents you are required to provide in order to be considered a potential provider. This includes a criminal records check on all adult members of the household. We also require three positive references and a means by which to reach these individuals.
As mentioned earlier, you will likely have many questions that have not been addressed here. Throughout the meetings that occur during the interview/match process, your questions will be answered. Please do not hesitate to ask.
Thank you for considering becoming a Home Provider with Living Innovations. Hundreds of people have found it to be a rewarding experience. We often hear from our Home Providers, “I have received as much benefit from Shared Living as the person I am supporting!
“For me, being a Home Provider is a perfect fit. When Tim came to live with us 20 years ago, he completed our family and enriched my life as well as the lives of my husband and sons. Joe moved in with us a year ago, and he too is a perfect fit.”
A Mission & Values Driven Organization
Living Innovations provides support to people with disabilities to have a good life at home and in the community.
Supporting People is First
We believe each person is valuable and will put individuals at the center of all we do.
Honor All Support Providers
Our direct support providers are the key to our success.
We believe that by including all people, communities become stronger.
Uncompromising Honesty and Integrity
We embrace the highest standards of ethics in all of our relationships, services and business practices.
Never Give Up
We will work creatively to support lives, building on people’s strengths.
Optimistic and Cheerful
We will be positive, pleasant and hopeful.
Growth Through Innovation
We will find new and better ways to serve people, and grow our organization.
We will work well with others in the interest of the individuals and families we support.