Self-direction is a way of receiving services that puts you in the driver's seat. You have choice and control over:
- What services you want
- Who provides the services and supports
- When the service or support is provided
- Where the service or support is provided
- How the service or support is provided
- You are the boss. You recruit, interview, hire and manage workers that you choose. This can even include hiring friends and family members if you want.
- You set the schedule. You decide when your staff will come to provide assistance.
- You train your staff. Support can be provided how you want.
- You decide what rate your staff will be paid, within program and state/federal guidelines.
- You can use some of the money in your budget to purchase goods or services that will improve your independence, community involvement, or safety.
- Self-direction is a lot of work, but many people self-directing find the challenges are greatly outweighed by the rewards.
Here are some questions to ask:
- Do you want more choice and control over your services?
- Do words that describe you include: self-starter, go-getter, organized, or independent?
- Do you feel comfortable recruiting and interviewing applicants?
- Do you feel comfortable having conversations with people about their performance, especially if things aren’t going well?
- Do you have family and friends that are currently providing assistance for you or would like to?
- Do you feel confident in your own decision-making skills?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, self-direction might be right for you!
If you know you want more choice and control but are a little unsure about the rest, self-direction might still be right for you. In self-direction, you can appoint a representative.
A representative is a person that takes on some, or all, of the employer responsibilities. You can appoint a trusted adult in your life to be your representative, who will help you with decision making and problem solving. Using a representative means you still get to be in charge, but you will have someone else’s help along the way.