Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy #Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, Family Voices Indiana is thankful.......

Thankful for our board and director who volunteer their time to support our work

Thankful for our families and partner agencies who connect families who need our help

Thankful for our family leaders who juggle the needs of their own children with special health care needs to support the needs of others

Thankful for donors who support our efforts

Won’t you consider a tax-deductible donation to let us know you’re thankful, too?
Family Voices Indiana 
attn: Humphrey CPA Group
445 N Pennsylvania St Ste 941
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

Paypal option available here:

Happy Thanksgiving~ from our family to yours………

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Please Support Family Voices Indiana

As you are doing your holiday shopping, there's an easy way to help support Family Voices Indiana at the same time... and it's free for you!!
Just register at Amazon Smile and select Family to Family Inc as your charitable organization. Every time you shop on Amazon Smile (, the Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.5% of your purchases to us.
It's never been easier to give back. Thank you for supporting our families!

CIH #Waiver Webinars

From DDRS:

Starting in December, the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) will be hosting a series of webinars for providers, families and individuals to discuss changes to the Community Integration and Habilitation (CIH) waiver. 

The webinars will take place across several days and at different times to accommodate as many people as possible. 
The discussion will also be broken down into provider specific and family and waiver participant specific webinars. 

DDRS staff will be available to answer questions during both sets of webinars to discuss any questions that stakeholders may have regarding the proposed changes to the waiver, which was announced on November 25, 2015, in the Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver Amendment (CIH Transform) announcement. Dates for the webinars are listed below as well as information on how to access them. 

Dates for families and waiver participants: 
 Thursday, December 10, 5 p.m. 
 Saturday, December 19, 10 a.m. 

How to access the webinar 
 For all of these webinars, the URL is 

o Participants should sign in as a guest using their name.
 Audio will be voice over internet, so participants will need to use speakers or headphones to hear the presentation. 
 Prior to the webinar, participants should click here to test their connection. This will prompt the user with any needed updates or add-ins. 
 Do not log into the webinar using Citrix or Virtual Private Network (VPN). These services will not be able to playback audio. 

A phone connection will also be available for anyone wishing to call in. Participants may call toll-free at 1-877-422-1931, using participant code 5475203621# to enter the conference call. You do not have to call in if you are listening online.

CIH #Waiver Transformation Public Comment until Dec 28

Family Voices Indiana encourages families to comment on the CIH Waiver Transformation. Even if your child does not currently have a waiver, s/he might in the future. This is an opportunity to make sure it will address your child's needs.

On January 4, 2016, the Indiana Family and Social Service Administration Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) intends to submit a proposed amendment to the Community Integration and Habilitation (CIH) waiver to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) for consideration. 

DDRS has posted for public the CIH waiver second amendment to the DDRS Draft Policies for Public Comment webpage, along with a frequently asked questions document. 

The amendment to the CIH waiver includes additional services, and clarifications to the existing services, covered under the waiver program. Due to some limitations in the actual waiver amendment not all changes to services are reflected in that document. DDRS has posted a full set of the new service definitions on the CIH Transform webpage. Each new or updated service has a link to the service definition online. There is also a comprehensive list of all services in the Service Definition Matrix posted at CIH Transform. DDRS asked that stakeholders pay particular attention to training requirements as well as provider qualifications found within each service definition. 

Comments will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. EST on Monday, December 28, 2015, and may be emailed to or mailed to the address below.
CIH Amendment Public Comment c/o Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services 402 W. Washington St., #W453 P.O. Box 7083, MS26 
Indianapolis, IN 46207-7083 

A list of the proposed modifications, please see the information below. 

 Case Management – service definition was modified to accommodate for consistency with a new service definition for Intensive Support Coordination o A new service has been added - Intensive Support Coordination which includes all services outlined in the Case Management service definition with additions to reflect enhanced services for individuals receiving Intensive Residential Support – Behavioral or Medical. The rate structure for this service has also been posted.

 Electronic Monitoring services – ending 09/30/2016 to be replaced by a more comprehensive new service, Remote Support Technology 

 Enhanced Residential Living – newly added service and rate structure  Intensive Residential Supports – Behavioral – newly added service and rate structure

  Intensive Residential Supports – Medical – newly added service and rate structure 

 Participant Assistance and Care (PAC) – previously offered only under the Family Supports Waiver but now added to the CIH Waiver 

 Personalized Emergency Response System services - ending 09/30/2016 to be incorporated into a more comprehensive new service, Remote Support Technology 

 Remote Support Technology – new, more comprehensive service incorporating and replacing components of Electronic Monitoring services and Personalized Emergency Response System services as of 10/01/2016. 

 Residential Habilitation and Support – Daily (RHS Daily) – ending 09/30/2016  Residential Habilitation and Support (Hourly) – updated to incorporate staff training requirements and to clarify the service is designed to be used by individuals residing with family or in their own home 

 Structured Family Caregiving (SFC) – ending 09/30/2016 to be replaced by Adult Family Living as of 10/01/2016 

 Transportation (non-medical) – name changed to Non-Medical Transportation and service more accurately described 

 Transportation for Community Employment/Volunteerism – newly added service reserved for participants engaged in community employment and/or volunteer activities, as specified in their support plan 

 Wellness Coordination – updated to prohibit authorization as a separate service for participants receiving Enhanced Residential Living (ERL), Intensive Residential Supports-Behavioral or Intensive Residential Supports-Medical 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act Public Comment

from DDRS: 

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA), each state is required to submit a four year State Plan that outlines the state’s workforce development strategy for the state’s workforce development system. Indiana is required to submit the Unified State Plan to the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education by March 3, 2016. WIOA aims to foster better alignment of federal investments in job training, to integrate service delivery across programs and improve efficiency in service delivery, and to ensure that the workforce system is job-driven and matches employers with skilled individuals. One of WIOA’s requirements is for planning across core programs, which includes the writing of a Unified State Plan. The core programs include: 
 The Adult Program (Title I of WIOA) 
 The Dislocated Worker Program (Title I) 
 The Youth Program (Title I) 
 The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Program (Title II), 
 The Wagner-Peyser Act Program (Wagner-Peyser Act, as amended by Title III), and 
 The Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Title IV). 

The initial draft of Indiana’s Unified State Plan is now available for public comment. Comments are requested for content, language, and overall implementation of the plan. Comments will be accepted until 4 p.m. (EST), December 21, 2015. The plan and ways to provide public comment may be found on the WIOA State Plan Comments web page and public meetings will also be scheduled in the near future. For additional WIOA information please visit the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services website or the U.S. Department of Labor website.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

#Waiverwise: Questions to Ask Prospective Service Providers

The following are good questions to ask a prospective service provider (member guidance is included in this section for provider reference):

 What is the provider’s mission? (Does it match the intent you are seeking?)
 Is the provider certified, accredited, or licensed? What are the standards of service?
 What kind of safety measures does the provider have in place to protect and assure treatment?
 How does the provider assure compliance with the person’s rights? Did you (and family members and advocates) receive copies of your rights as a consumer of services, as well as have these rights explained?
 Is the provider interested in what you and your family member want or dream about?
 Is the provider connected to other programs that you may need, such as day support, local school and education services, or work programs? How is the provider connected? Ask for specific contacts.  If you are to live in a home shared with other people, can families drop in whenever they wish?
 How are birthdays, vacations, and special events handled?
 How would family money issues be handled? What is the policy on personal and client finances?  How would minor illnesses and injuries be handled? What about major illnesses and injuries?  What information is routinely reported to families?
 Can you get a copy of the provider’s complaint policies and procedures? Is there someone else whom family members can talk to if there is a disagreement?
 How are behavior problems handled? Are staff allowed to contact a behavioral support provider? How are new staff trained on the behavior support plan? Are they trained before working with waiver participants? What is the relationship between residential provider and behavioral provider?  How is medication handled? What happens if medication is refused?
 What is the smoking policy?
 How are planning meetings scheduled and conducted, and who attends? Can a family member call a meeting? How does the provider assure that what is agreed on in the meeting is actually provided?  Who would be the provider’s contact person, how will that contact occur, and how often? Is someone available 24 hours a day in case of emergencies?
 How many people with disabilities has the agency terminated or discontinued from services? Why? What happened to them?
 Has the agency received any abuse or neglect allegations? Who made these allegations? What were the outcomes? What is the process for addressing allegations of abuse or neglect?
 What challenges does the provider think the waiver participant will create for him or her?
 As a provider of waiver services, what are the provider’s strengths and weaknesses?
 What is the process for hiring staff? Are background checks conducted and training given? What happens to the waiver participant while a new staff person is hired and trained?
 How is direct staff supervised? What training does the staff receive? What is the average experience or education of staff?
 How is staffing covered if regular staff is ill? What happens if staff does not show up for the scheduled time? How often does it happen?
 What is the staff turnover rate? How are staff’s respite needs handled?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

#Waiverwise: Helpful Hints for Participants and Guardians Selecting Waiver Providers

Here are some tips on selecting a provider (member guidance is included in this section for provider reference): 

 Selecting good providers is critical. It is helpful to think about the issues that are important to you and your family member before you begin the process. A list of certified waiver providers for each county is available through your Case Manager. If you are new to waiver services, or your current agency has terminated your service, you need to prioritize the providers and try to schedule interviews and visits within a short time frame, so the process does not become extended. Individuals who are new to the waiver program are asked to select a provider within 14 calendar days of receiving the pick list. Individuals who have been terminated by the current provider must select and transition to a new provider within 60 calendar days of termination. 

 You will be able to make an informed choice by reading information, such as the DDRS Home and Community-Based Waiver Provider Manual, or by discussing alternatives with the Case Manager or an advocate. You may want to visit an individual who is currently receiving waiver services or meet with various service providers. Case Managers can assist in setting up visits or meeting with service providers. 

 Sometimes a provider can arrange for you to visit people who are receiving services from the provider. Remember, when you visit a house or apartment where waiver services are being provided, you are visiting someone’s home. 

 When meeting with providers or Case Managers, it is important to take notes because it is easy to forget details later. Ask for copies of any written materials, write down names, titles, telephone numbers, email addresses, and so on, and the date of the meeting. It’s important to maintain accurate information.