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Catholic Charities Home > Independent Support Services > Self-Directed Help at Home > Self-Directed Help at Home FAQs


What does “Self-Directed” mean?

Self-Directed assistance gives you the freedom to choose the services and supports you need to live independently in your own home.

When you’re self-directed, you hire the helper you want and decide the type of services you need. You are also able to determine the best schedule of help for you. Because you create a plan based on your challenges and strengths, you determine the supports that help you reach your unique independent living goals.

For more information, see our Toolkit:  What is Self-Directed Help at Home?


How is Self-Directed help different from traditional services?

Self-directed services differ from traditional services in several key actions: choosing helpers, determining the services, setting tasks, determining pay rates, training, and setting the schedule.

In the traditional option, Catholic Charities assigns someone to you, limiting your choice to those workers currently employed by us. Additionally, there can be a shortage of help in certain areas, so you may end up on a waiting list.

When you are self-directed, you have the freedom to choose the person who will assist you. Whether you choose a trusted neighbor, friend or loved one, you become their employer. Having someone you know and trust come into your own home and perform tasks that may be very personal can mean greater peace of mind of comfort.

What are my responsibilities as the Client?

With the freedom of choice comes the responsibility to make the decisions. Compared to the traditional, agency approach, self-direction requires you to be more involved in the decisions regarding your care.

Your role includes:

  • Finding and hiring your Home Helper
  • Deciding the supportive tasks you want your Home Helper to perform
  • Dictating how you want your Home Helper to perform these tasks
  • Training your Home Helper — or arranging for training — on how to perform these tasks
  • Determining when you want your Home Helper to work
  • Establishing how much you’ll pay your Home Helper (based on program guidelines) and managing paperwork


What kinds of services can I expect from a Home Helper?

With self-direction, however, you define your needs and determine the services that will address your unique challenges and goals.


Who determines Home Helper’s pay rate?

Clients in our traditional program have no say in their Home Helper’s pay — the agency sets the pay rate.

As a self-directed Client, you set your Home Helper’s pay rate. If you qualify for a waiver, Catholic Charities will reimburse you for $8 per hour. Then you are required to pay the $5 co-pay per hour. However, you can decide to pay more, if you like.


Who trains the Home Helper?

In our traditional program, Catholic Charities trains the Home Helper. When you are self-directing your helper, you can either train your Home Helpers yourself or arrange training based on your specific needs.


How flexible is the scheduling in Self-Directed Help at Home?

With the traditional approach, Catholic Charities would have more control of a Home Helper’s schedule. With self-direction, you set your Home Helper’s schedule based on your unique needs. You decide when you need assistance.