Additional Information on the Family Caregiver Act

Family Caregiver Overview November 1, 2010 Colorado Department of Human Services Division for Developmental Disabilities Background Information

 The Family Caregiver Act, Senate Bill 08002, creates more options for services and supports for persons with developmental disabilities. This Act provides the opportunity for services to be delivered in the family home and/or for family members to be paid to deliver specified services wherever the person in service lives. Until 2008, the Colorado developmental disability system (DD system) did not allow certain services to be delivered in the family home or for family members to be paid to provide most services. In July 2009, the State was given approval by the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement the expansion of services being provided by family members to the structure of the Medicaid HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) waivers. These services will also now be available in non Medicaid funded services for adults with Developmental Disabilities.  The creation of this new model has multiple benefits to individuals and the service delivery system. The model was created to increase flexibility and choice and to allow the individual receiving services to remain in the family home when desired. Additionally, the model increases opportunities for Program Approved Services Agencies to meet the needs of individuals who live in rural areas, have unique service delivery needs, or who have specific faith or cultural preferences. While a family caregiver model may not be appropriate for or selected by everyone, it is believed that for a number of individuals, it will have a positive and effective outcome in meeting individual preferences and needs.   

 The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and the Division for Developmental Disabilities (DDD) embraces the Family Caregiver model in service delivery as a mutually beneficial approach that supports the values and guiding principles that direct services within the State of Colorado. National trends indicate strong and increasing use of families as paid service and support providers, and DDD looks forward to the addition of this choice for individuals in service in the array of options available within Colorado’s developmental disabilities service system.


 Individuals with developmental disabilities who are receiving services now have more choices available to them. Individuals may choose to live and receive services in the family home, or may elect to live outside of the family home and receive services. Additionally, individuals may choose to receive services by a family member but if this is not desired, may receive services by
staff or providers of the agency. Specifically, an individual or guardian may choose among the following:

  • Services in the family home, provided by a family caregiver as an Independent Contractor of a Program Approved Service Agency (PASA).
  • Services in the family home, provided by an unrelated staff or provider
  • Services outside of the family home  provided by a co- family caregiver


Additional/Contact Information:


DDD believes that this model of service delivery will create positive outcomes for many individuals receiving services. An initial guide for the Developmental Disabilities system is available and attached to this overview and should be referenced for more detailed guidance.
This guide will be periodically updated over the next year to include more information for individuals, families and providers interested in accessing this option.

For additional information about the Family Caregiver service delivery model, contact Lori Thompson, at the Division for Developmental Disabilities, (303) 866-7395 or email at