Guest Post by Ronda Cook
Protective Supervision is for children and adults in the IHSS program in California. Applying for Protective Supervision may give you additional hours in the program.
Protective Supervision is for children and adults with a mental impairment that have self-harming and or dangerous behaviors that they engage in without regard to consequences. these behaviors must be regularly occurring and random. That is why they need someone to supervise them 24 hours a day 7 days a week to minimize injury to themselves.
An example of this behavior would be called eloping or wandering away. Many children with autism engage in this behavior. they will leave a safe space and go somewhere dangerous without realizing they could be seriously injured.
Other examples of behavior that some children exhibit that qualify for protective supervision are climbing up high, banging their head on the floors, walls or people, punching or slapping themselves in the face, scratching themselves until they bleed.
If your child engages in any of the examples I listed above or similar activities without regard to the consequence, you should pursue getting Protective Supervision.
Step One: Applying for IHSS
If you do not already have IHSS then look online for your local IHSS County office and call them right away and tell them you would like to apply for your child. This will preserve your “Protected Date of Eligibility”. The application is very basic but you will need your family members social security number. If you don’t want to apply by phone you can also go on the California Department of Social Services website and print the soc 295 application then mail it to your local office.
Step Two: Applying for Medi-Cal
IHSS is paid for by Medi-Cal. If you already have Medi-Cal for your family member then proceed to the next step. If you do not have Medi-Cal then you should apply right away. Nowadays the income limits are quite high to receive Medi-Cal. In fact, for a family of four they can make $65,000 and the children can still qualify for Medi-Cal. If the income is above the limits for Medi-Cal, then you will need to go to your local Regional Center and request a developmental disability waiver, AKA institutional deeming waiver. This will waive the parents income so that they can qualify for Medi-Cal.
Step Three: Applying for Protective Supervision
If you feel your family member might meet the qualifications, then call your social worker and ask for an assessment for protective supervision.
You have to remember these people have lots and lots of cases. At a bare minimum you should be calling every single week and checking in if you have an open case waiting for a decision. My son also has Autism Spectrum Disorder. I can tell you what I did that was successful in getting him protective supervision in three and a half months:
🌸 First make a Dangerous Behavior Log which is a list of any self-harming behaviors he has done over the past six to 12 months. (See sample below)
🌸 Next Google IHSS SOC 821 protective supervision form. Print form and take it to the doctor that treats him along with the hazard log. Sit with the doctor while he fills out the form and tell him to use your examples of self injurious behavior to write in the form. It’s best if most are marked severe or at least moderate– there are three check boxes.
🌸 Next gather his Regional Center Individual Program Plan (IPP). This is a document created by the Regional Center.
🌸 Then gather his Client Development Evaluation Report (CDER). This is a document created by the Regional Center. It’s a summary of the clients abilities and issues.
🌸 Then get a copy of his Individualized Education Program (IEP). This document will be created by your child’s school.
🌸 Now look through all three documents: IPP, CDER, and IEP. Look through them and see if it mentions any self-harming Behavior your child engages in. Look for any self-harming behaviors noted and highlight them.
🌸 If there are behaviors he engages in that are not noted, you could call a meeting and have them added to his school and/or Regional Center reports.
🌸 Then call the social worker again and tell them that you are applying for protective supervision. Keep track of every contact with IHSS that you have the date the time the person you spoke with and a summary of your conversation.
Meeting the Social Worker
When I met the Social Worker for the home assessment, I handed her the following:
🌸 Dangerous Behavior Log
🌸 Completed SOC 821 form
🌸 IEP with the items highlighted
🌸 CDER with the items highlighted
🌸 IPP with the items highlighted
Always make a complete copy of everything that you give to IHSS so you know what information they are looking at.
Appealing a Decision
🌸 If your case is denied, and you’re within the time frame to file an appeal, always try to do that first to preserve any back pay.
🌸 If you lose your appeal there’s another step beyond that you can try for. Otherwise you can always reapply– basically start a new case.
🌸 Generally though you would only want to reapply if you’ve exhausted all your other appeals first because if you reapply, then backpay would only be from your new application date.
An excellent guide on How to Apply for Protective Supervision from Disability Rights California.
Sample Pages from Dangerous Behaviors Log