When it comes to the education and care for people with special needs, community has been a key factor in human development. Often people from the community want to provide support and help to individuals with special needs and their families. You don’t always have to go to years of school in order to be an asset to individuals that need support. People often get involved with special needs care by becoming a provider or caregiver in some capacity within their community or they may even offer up their house as a place for the provision of care. Often there is a lot of training involved and the job is certainly one where you must have a passion for people and a knack for caregiving. If you are thinking about getting involved, there are some things you will need to know before you can even begin taking the steps toward a program to provide for people with special needs.

Should I Turn My Home Into An ADH Or CDH Home?

Developmental Homes are residences that provide licensed care and supervision 24 hours a day for individuals with developmental disabilities. These residences are allowed to provide care for up to 3 individuals at a time by Arizona law. There are two types of homes: Adult Developmental Homes and Child Developmental homes. Obviously CDH are for individuals below the age of 18 while ADH are residences for people over the age of 18. These homes provide care for individuals with developmental disabilities in a home setting that is usually not their own, but retains that cozy feeling that clinical care might not be able to replicate. These homes can provide room and board, personal care and supervision, and habilitation. If you are considering the option of turning your home into a Developmental Home, there are a few things you have to ask yourself. One of the most important questions you should ask before undertaking this endeavor is this: Can you provide a positive home environment for an individual with special needs with respect to caring, nurturing, and safety? If you believe it might be something you want to pursue, here are a few things you will need to keep in mind:

  • You must be at least 21 years of age.
  • You must obtain a fingerprint clearance card issued by Arizona Department of Public Safety.
  • You must be lawfully present in the United States and live in Arizona.
  • You must be physically, mentally, and medically able to care for a child or vulnerable adult.
  • You must provide a clean bed and sufficient bedroom space.
  • You must meet the conditions, both with your income and with the life-safety requirements for your residence, to provide for an individual in need of care.

If you feel that you can handle those requirements for the special care that a child or vulnerable adult would need in a developmental home, you can contact a contracted licensing agency and get more information.

What About HCBS?

One of the ways that you can get involved is to seek out a vendor that provides Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and get involved in their program. HCBS are designated services that Medicaid beneficiaries can receive in their home setting or in a community setting, rather than in the isolation of institutions and the like. These programs are great for people with special needs and disabilities because they provide for a degree of comfort and routine. Often these services include care, habilitation and respite and may even include therapy or transportation depending on the provider. HCBS providers must be a qualified vendor for the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) before they can apply for HCBS certification, which comes with it’s own set of qualifications. If you can find employment in with one of these vendors, you can be involved with in-home or community care for people with special needs.

Are There Other Ways To Get Involved?

If you have a desire to get involved in care for special needs individuals, there are a number of routes that you can take. First, you should decide at what level to do you want to be involved in care and education. If you have desire to further your understanding or get involved on a clinical or director level, you can pursue a collegiate program that caters to individuals with special needs. You could pursue education, therapy, behavioral health, or administration and a myriad of other things. If you are curious about moving forward in a career in the special needs field, this list of skills you will need is a great resource.

If you are looking to get involved first and provide direct care to individuals with special needs before making a decision on continued education, there are many employment options you can pursue. You can become a caregiver or a provider rather quickly, provided that you can meet all the requirements which include the necessary identification verification, background information, and pass certification courses for Arizona care providers. These things are required of caregivers to provide for the safety and comfort of individuals with special needs. Look into local job postings for caregivers and providers. There are also many volunteer programs, including summer camps, for people to get involved with mentorship, fundraising, or advocacy.

Lexington Services is always looking for quality caregivers, providers, and educators that are blessed with that special gift of compassion for individuals with special needs. If you are looking for a great work environment with passionate team members that works diligently to provide for individuals with autism and other special needs, consider applying today.

Curious about what else Lexington does? From education to care, we are leaders in Arizona when it comes to providing for people with autism and other special needs. If you have questions about our programs or services, contact us today.

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