I think it is to the credit of DMAS they are working to keep parents as paid caregivers. The ability to become the paid caregiver for my children has been truly beneficial to them and the family as a whole.
I have two concerns about the proposal. I don't like the language that suggests the parent may only do this when no one else 'viable' is available. I would rather it is just an option. For many (most?) of us parenting children on the waiver we are de facto required to be their caregiver, unpaid, even when an aide is there as well. Many of us have given up jobs or never returned to the workforce having had our child as we are required to be at home or regular work isn't feasible due to the amount of time off required for IEP meetings, doctors appointments, therapies and so on. This money is extremely helpful. I would like it to be more explicitly allowed. A parent may be the child's paid caregiver if they wish.
The second concern I had is with making this agency directed only. The idea, for oversight. is valid, but I don't see why the service facilitator cannot fulfill this duty? I have worked with many agencies and more than one service facilitator and either could fill this role. Keeping the option of having the parent as paid caregiver in the consumer directed model gives ore options to families.