#4 in our series on the Children’s Long-Term Support Waiver
What is the Children’s Long–Term Support (CLTS) Waiver Program?
The CLTS Waiver Program provides funding and support for families who have children with disabilities, who are Medicaid eligible, so they can care for their children at home and participate in their communities. This fact sheet will explain what to expect once your child is found eligible for the CLTS Program.
My Child is Eligible! Now What?
When a child is found eligible and initially enrolled in the CLTS Program, a service coordinator will be assigned to your family. He or she will contact your family and set up a visit. You can meet at your home or another place, like your child’s school, at a library or a coffee shop—A space that is most comfortable for you.
Sharing Your Dreams: During the first visit, you will be asked to share how you care for your child, what areas of your life are challenging and some of your and your child’s dreams and hopes for the future.
Getting to Know Your Child: Your child’s service coordinator may also want to observe your child during the school day or during after-school or other community activities. The visits are a good way for the service coordinator to get to know your child’s abilities and challenges, as well as their likes and dislikes.
Deciding Together: You will partner with your child’s service coordinator to consider long-term and short-term needs and goals for your child. Start by considering your child’s best life—What would help your child enjoy activities, build relationships and learn new skills? See the Deciding Together Guide, dhs.wisconsin.gov/ library/p-02246.htm, that explains this collaborative process.
Accepting Help and Support: Even if you are feeling alright and have learned to live with the stresses of caring for your child with special needs, participating in the CLTS Program can be helpful. It’s OK to let the service coordinator know you don’t need much help right now. But together, you can brainstorm future needs. As your child grows and changes, his or her needs may expand and the CLTS Program can help, especially if you have planned ahead.
Parental Payment –Your CLTS Program Bill
Families with incomes greater than 330% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)—roughly $86,000 for a family of four—may be responsible for paying a Parental Payment for CLTS-funded services. This fee is based on your family’s income and the cost of your child’s Individual Service Plan (ISP). The bill, that will be from your county, will be due after your child’s ISP has been submitted and approved.
How Can a CLTS Service Coordinator Help My Family?
Families new to the CLTS Program may not realize that one of its most important benefits is access to a service coordinator. This new partner can provide support and guidance to you as you navigate the CLTS Program and access other resources. Below are some examples of how your child’s service coordinator can partner and be by your side as you care for your child.
Attend School IEP Meetings: Your service coordinator can attend your child’s IEP meeting and help advocate for school-based therapy, programming or modifications to meet their goals. The coordinator can be with you to ask questions and be another set of ears, so you’re not missing anything that is discussed by the school team.
Attend Medical or Therapy Visits: The service coordinator can come with you to medical appointments or therapy visits if you need support, especially if you are making a decision about new equipment or treatment options for your child.
Connecting to the Community: If you need ideas for things like summer programs, after-school activities or adaptive equipment, your service coordinator can help you find resources and programs.
During Times of Transition: The service coordinator can also help you explore new programs or options during times of transition, like the move to elementary school or high school.
Connecting with Other Families: One of the best ways to learn what works for your child is to talk to other families who have “been there.” Ask your service coordinator to help you find another parent or family. If he or she can’t, contact Parent-to-Parent of Wisconsin p2pwi.org or 833.361.6300.
When You Need Help: While your service coordinator can’t always be there, he or she can help find answers when you are stuck or struggling to get what you need for your child.
While the service coordinator will likely meet with you in person at least once a year to review and update your child’s ISP, you don’t need to wait until then to ask for their input or help. You can reach out to them any time!
Tips for Families
Let the service coordinator know the best way to reach you: phone calls, texts, emails, and the time of day or days of the week that are best for you to meet. You can also talk about what works best for your service coordinator.
If you have questions, contact your Regional Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs. To find your Center, go to dhs.wisconsin.gov/cyshcn/regionalcenters.htm or call 800.642.7837.