A Support Broker is personal ally hired by an adult with a disability to help create and implement life plans, manage budgets, supervise support staff, negotiate rates for supports, network within the community, and expand the circle of friends and other allies in the community.
Support Brokers are people who are employed directly by participants with a developmental disability. For participants that are minor children, the employer is the parent or legal guardian, if one exists, of that child. Support Brokers help their employer develop and manage their services and supports, providing support in a way that is flexible and responsive to the needs and abilities of their employer. Support Brokers also help their employers develop a Support and Spending Plan (SSP), monitor annual budget and develop back-up plans to mitigate potential risks to the health and safety of the participant. Additionally, Support Brokers assist their employers in the process of managing employees, including recruiting, hiring, and monitoring, as necessary.
Support Brokers are committed to a value system that supports each participant’s fundamental right to live a life of dignity, self-determination, and community inclusion. Support Brokers ensure the participant’s health and welfare is supported—assuring safety through a network of family members, friends, and paid supports. Support Brokers help provide leadership, resources, ideas, and coordination for their employers. A Support Broker has a clear focus on helping an employer identify individualized goals to increase independence and quality of life.
A support broker performs many responsibilities, including the following:
- Assist in facilitating the person-centered planning process as directed by the participant.
- Develop a written support and spending Plan (SSP) with the participant that includes the paid and unpaid supports the participant needs and wants, related risks identified with the participant’s wants and preferences, and a comprehensive risk plan for each potential risk with at least three backup plans
- Assist the participant to monitor and review his budget.
- Submit documentation regarding the participant’s satisfaction with identified supports as requested by the department.
- Participate with department quality assurance measures, as requested.
- Assist the participant to complete the annual re-determination process as needed, including updating the support and spending plan and submitting it to the Department for authorization.
- Assist the participant, as needed, to meet the participant responsibilities and assist the participant as needed to protect his own health and safety.
- Complete the department approved criminal history check waiver form when a participant chooses to waiver the criminal history check requirement for a community support worker. Completion of this form requires that the support broker provide education and counseling to the participant and his circle of support regarding the risks of waiving a criminal history check and assist with detailing the rationale for waiving the criminal history check and how health and safety will be protected.
- Sign the written support and spending plan.
- Assist the participant to develop and maintain a circle of support.
- Help the participant learn and implement the skills needed to recruit, hire, and monitor community supports.
- Assist the participant to negotiate rates for paid community support workers.
- Maintain documentation of supports provided by each community support worker and participant’s satisfaction with the these supports.
- Assist the participant to monitor community supports.
- Assist the participant to resolve employment related problems.
- Assist the participant to identify and develop community resources to meet specific needs.
- Assist the participant in distributing the support and spending plan to community support workers or vendors.