Vermont's Innovation Grant
Project Title: Peer-Directed Personal Care Cooperative Project
Organization/State Lead: Vermont Center for Independent Living
Contact Person: Sarah Launderville, Executive Director
- Creation of a peer controlled system for 24/7 delivery of personal care services through pooling of care resources
- Provide the opportunity for people to leave nursing homes or other restrictive settings and receive professional and adequate care within their own community
- Personal Care Attendants are able to increase hours worked and decrease the cost of driving distances between peers served
- Personal Care Attendants will receive a livable wage and benefits
- Participants will increase their involvement in the community including: gain employment, attend school, volunteer, and experience improved relationships with family and friends
The Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) has begun the planning process to form a peer-directed cooperative that will provide 24 hour a day access to care for people who use personal attendant services and live in the Burlington, Vermont area. Members who join the Cooperative will live in proximity to one another and pool their “Choices for Care” or other funding to achieve personal care services that help them live more independently as active members of their families and community and valued employees. VCIL and its partners and peers have joined together to identify and create a model that leads to success and full peer participation in the delivery and quality of services.
Cooperative members will hire and train personal care attendants. The PCAs will be paid a livable wage and benefits to help professionalize PCA work. It is expected that some of the people recruited as PCAs may also be people with disabilities.
VCIL believes that the Cooperative model will decrease forced segregation found in some other models of cooperatives and increase the ability of people with disabilities to have more control over their own lives.
Milestone Goals Achieved (updated as the grant progresses):
- Over the first grant quarter, The Vermont Center for Independent Living, The State of Vermont’s Department of Disability, Aging and Independent Living and consultant Scott Goyette have completed planning the implementation of a Personal Care Cooperative in the Burlington, Vermont area. The Cooperative will be operated by and provide services to people using self-directed programs under the State of Vermont’s Choices for Care Programs.
- The Vermont PCA Cooperative Project is currently engaged in discussions with other shared care models across the country. The intent of these discussions is to identify what is working well as well as gain insight into the challenges involved in implementing this unique care structure. In addition to informing our own implementation process, these discussions represent the beginnings of a national dialogue regarding the benefits of shared care.
- The PCA Cooperative held its first introductory meeting on 10/25/11. The purpose of the meeting was to solicit more participation from potential members of the Cooperative. Ongoing activities include developing a web presence, developing a cooperative budget, and coordinating with the state.