You have the choice to hire an Independent Facilitator to assist you with leading your person-centered planning process, finding services, activities, and staff, managing your staff, and advocating for you. An Independent Facilitator should be experienced in the types of services and supports available to you in your community and be creative when developing a plan to help you meet your goals. The cost of the independent facilitator is paid out of your individual budget.
An independent facilitator must be a person who does not provide other services to you paid for through your IPP or works for an agency that does. You may also choose to use a regional center service coordinator to serve some of these functions.
An independent facilitator is required to receive training, at his or her own expense, in: the principles of self-determination; the person-centered planning process; and, other responsibilities of an independent facilitator. They are not required to have a certification, although some may have it.
You can choose to have no independent facilitators or more than one. You may want to have different facilitators do different tasks for you. You can find people who volunteer to be your facilitator for free. It’s important to know that a parent of a minor child under the age of 18 cannot be paid to be their child’s independent facilitator. A spouse of a participant also cannot be paid to be a facilitator.
You should interview prospective Independent Facilitators and make sure you are comfortable with them. They should know you and your community and have ideas that will help you meet your goals. To see suggestions for interview questions, go to the Interchange page on Finding the Right Providers.
For more information on Independent Facilitators, you can look at the DDS guidance on independent facilitators.