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Training Required for Direct Support Professionals Employed Through Kentucky Waiver Program

March 20, 2014

Training is now required for all direct support professionals — including family members — who provide services and supports to consumers enrolled in Kentucky‘s Supports for Community Living Waiver Program (SCL). 

The new regulation took effect in January 2014.

The Medicaid-funded SCL Waiver Program makes it possible for individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability to live and receive services at home or in community-based settings instead of an intermediate care facility. The program includes a consumer-directed care option in which family members can be paid caregivers.

The new training standards for direct support professionals will take effect in a staggered manner throughout the year — on each consumer’s date of birth, Jean Russell, vice president of Developmental Services at Seven Counties Services, told PHI.

Direct-support professionals must now be trained using the lessons contained in Phase II of the Kentucky College of Direct Support (pdf) online curriculum. They must complete the training “no later than six months from the date of employment or when the individual began providing services.”

The training standards include at least six hours of professional development or continuing education units of competency-based training annually to “enhance skills related to the performance of duties.”

“The changes to the Supports for Community Living waiver mean family members who want to be paid will need to develop specific skills,” said Bonnie Young, director of Seven Counties Services Child and Family Services, in an interview with a local TV station.

According to the news media, some family members employed through the SCL consumer-directed option are “upset and concerned” about the new training requirements.

However, Young says that, “There are ways for families to challenge the state and say, ‘No, I’d be the best person to teach my son or daughter.'”

The new training requirements for direct support professionals serving the SCL Waiver Program are outlined in Section 3 of Kentucky Administrative Regulation 907 12:010.

To learn more about training requirements for personal care aides — and other direct-care occupations — in each state, visit the PHI website.

— by Deane Beebe

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