Participant direction is another method by which individuals can receive needed services and supports that are authorized in their person-centered Individual Support Plan (ISP).  In accordance with the principles of self-determination, choice and control, the Office of Developmental Programs provides a service delivery option which allows individuals to have more control over where, when, and how some of their services and supports are delivered.  Individuals have choice and control regardless of the service delivery option, but with participant direction, they have a greater amount of choice and control, along with some additional responsibilities as they become a type of employer.  Individuals can be the employer of the people who provide their participant-directed services and supports, or a surrogate can be selected to take on the role of employer on their behalf.

When individuals choose to self-direct their services they do so with the assistance of a Financial Management Service (FMS) Organization. The FMS enhances their choice and control while reducing some of the employer-related work that is associated with self directing services, such as processing payments and maintaining tax records.  There are two types of FMS: Agency With Choice (AWC) and Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent (VF/EA).  These two options provide individuals or their surrogate with different levels of control and responsibility. For more information see the Public Partnerships, LLC website.

Not all individuals are eligible to participant-direct their services. In order to be eligible, they must live in their own home or in the home of a family member or friend. Additionally, not all services are eligible for participant direction.  Please refer to the Consolidated Waiver, the Person/Family Directed Support (P/FDS) Waiver and the associated service definitions which specify the eligible services.  Individuals must have at least one of these services on their authorized ISP before they can use this service delivery option.