Talking with the PDD worker was an entirely different experience from the AISH worker. The PDD worker supplied me with so much information, it was overwhelming. A binder explained their “Family Managed Supports.” Basically, I didn’t want an agency calling the shots for my daughter. I want control over who is in her life, where she lives, who she lives with and how her money is spent. That means I will be entering into a contract with the Alberta Government.
They will pay me a certain amount of money. I will then hire staff for her. I will become their employer and pay them an agreed upon amount of money. There is a whole pile of paperwork that is involved, including signing an agreement and producing monthly and yearly reports.
This sounds great in theory, but of course the amount of money they are willing to give us is not enough for a one-on-one support person. In addition to Down Syndrome, my daughter also has type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. She needs pretty close monitoring. That means we needed to find a way to have 24 hour support on a part-time budget.
I mentioned to the PDD worker that we had a second house. We had been unable to sell it before we bought a new house. We currently had renters occupying it, but they would be gone by April. I suggested that maybe we could find a couple other people with disabilities who might want to be her roommates. We could pool our PDD resources to pay one full time support staff.The PDD worker looked less than impressed. She said they have had limited success with that scenario. Essentially, what happens is there is one full time support worker but each family is the employer. So what happens if one employer wants to fire the worker but the other doesn’t? or they can’t agree on who to hire? There are also issues with chore allocation etc.
To be honest, this kind of took the wind out of my sails because I thought it would be a great set up. However, the way the government sets things up, it has the potential of being a real nightmare.
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