Get in-home help (PCA or Direct Service)

If your child has significant needs, your family might qualify to get in-home help.

This would be a trained Personal Care Attendant (PCA) or Direct Service Worker who would help your child with daily activities like bathing, dressing, and feeding.

If you have Medicaid and qualify for PCA services, they should cover a certain number of hours per week and help you find a PCA or Direct Service Worker. To learn more, see the Health Insurance and Medicaid Waivers Guides.

Louisiana also has an Individual and Family Support program that can step in and offer services if you can't get help from someplace else (like a Medicaid Waiver).

How can I get in-home services?

  • If your child has Medicaid, call your plan and ask them about PCA services.

  • If not, see the Health Insurance Guide to apply for Medicaid. Children with autism should qualify even if your family doesn't. This can be a huge help!

  • Contact your local Human Services District (HSD). There are 9 HSD's in Louisiana. Each HSD can tell you what services you qualify for and how to apply. Tell them your child needs PCA services. Ask specifically about Medicaid Waivers and Individual Family Support.


Image showing a map of the state of Louisiana with a listing of all of the Human Services Districts in the state and their phone numbers. 'Metropolitan Human Services District (504) 599-0245, Capital Area Human Services District (225) 925-1910, South Central Louisiana Human Services Authority (985) 876-8805, Acadiana Area Human Services District (337) 262-5610, Imperial Calcasieu Human Services Authority 337) 475-8045, Central Louisiana Human Services District (318) 484-2347, Northwest Louisiana Human Services District (318) 741-7455, Northwest Delta Human Services Authority (318) 362-3396, Florida Parished Human Services Authority (985) 543-4730, Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (504) 838-5357'


Who qualifies?

It depends on the program, but usually a child will qualify if they have "substantial functional limitations.”  This means they have trouble with everyday activities, learning, moving around, communicating, or self-care tasks.

Self-care tasks are also called ADLs: Activities of Daily Living. They include things like dressing, bathing, eating and using the bathroom. It depends on how old the child is, but if they are not able to do these things the way most kids their age can, they may qualify for PCA services.

Image of an exclamation pointIf your child or family member lives with you, you may need a break sometimes. Learn about Respite Care in the section in the menu called Taking care of yourself.


Sources: CAHSD, OCDD


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