Paraquad

Making St. Louis Accessible
for Over 40 Years

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Paraquad - Consumer Directed Services (CDS)?
Can I Get CDS Where I Live?
What Types of Services Can I Get With CDS?
What Are the Qualifications to Get On the CDS Program?
How Can I Become a CDS Participant with Paraquad?
Where Do the CDS Attendants Come From?
What Do CDS Attendants Need to Do to Start Working?
When Can the CDS Attendant Start Working?
Who Pays the CDS Attendant?
How Much Does the CDS Attendant Get Paid?

Paraquad - Consumer Directed Services (CDS)

The CDS program offered in the State of Missouri is a consumer controlled model of personal Attendant services.  Consumer control means that the person with a disability who receives services is the actual employer of the Attendant and is responsible to hire and direct his or her Attendant.

The CDS program makes it possible for the person with a disability (CDS Participant) to be in charge of what type of services they receive, when they receive it, and who provides the services as their CDS Attendant, per program guidelines.

The CDS program makes it possible for many individuals with disabilities to remain  safely in their homes, to be active members of their communities, and to live satisfying lives that are independent of much more restrictive nursing home settings.

Can I Get CDS Where I Live?

Paraquad serves CDS Participants in the following region:  St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, and St. Charles County.

Every county in Missouri has CDS.  If you live outside of Paraquad’s service area, we can assist you in finding other approved agencies who offer CDS in your county.

If you live outside of Missouri, give us a call.  We would be happy to locate a Center for Independent Living in your State that may be able to assist you in finding a similar program.

What Types of Services Can I Get With CDS?

CDS can provide individuals with assistance in the following areas.  You may qualify for some or all of these services:

  • Bathing/Showering
  • Dressing/Undressing
  • Grooming
  • Toileting
  • Ostomy/Colostomy Hygiene
  • Obtaining Medication
  • Transfers
  • Range of Motion
  • Meal Preparation/Feeding/Cleanup
  • Housekeeping/Laundry
  • Errand Transportation (shopping, paying bills/banking, picking up medication)
  • Medical Transportation (limited)
     

In addition to the Personal Attendant Services you can receive through CDS, you will receive personalized attention from a Paraquad CDS Specialist.  All Paraquad CDS Specialists continually learn about the Independent Living Philosophy.  Your CDS Specialist can assist you with your Independent Living Goals and can point you to a wealth of resources to help meet your needs and expand your knowledge.  Your CDS Specialist is just a phone call away and will keep up to date with you about the quality of your services on a monthly basis.

What Are the Qualifications to Get On the CDS Program?

At a minimum, qualified individuals must be:

  • Medicaid Eligible (MO HealthNet eligible)
  • 18 years or older
  • Able to direct their own care
  • Physically disabled
  • Capable of living independently with the services of CDS
  • Require at least a nursing facility level of care.
     

The Department of Health and Senior Services (or designee) will assess individuals who meet these minimum qualifications to see if they may eligible for the CDS program.  If eligible, DHSS and the individual wanting services will create a Care Plan that will outline the kind of services the individual will be approved to receive from a CDS Attendant through the CDS program.

How Can I Become a CDS Participant with Paraquad?

If you meet the qualifications listed above, you or a designee can call Paraquad’s Information and Referral number at (314) 289-4200 and request a screening for the CDS program.

An experienced representative from our CDS Intake Department will be glad to prescreen you and make a referral to DHSS for an assessment.  A knowledgeable representative from the CDS Attendant Services Department will help get your CDS Attendant ready for employment.  Our CDS Intake and Attendant Services Departments will assist you all along the way!

Where Do the CDS Attendants Come From?

CDS Participants can hire their choice of Personal Care Attendants (up to four Attendants).  Some CDS Participants choose friends, family, neighbors, or people they know from church or organizations.  Other CDS Participants advertise and then interview and hire experienced applicants or interview and hire someone who was referred to them.

CDS Participants are the legal employer of the CDS Attendant.  CDS Participants are responsible for interviewing, hiring, directing, scheduling, and if necessary, firing their Attendants.  (CDS Attendants do not work for Paraquad.  Paraquad is not the employer of CDS Attendants.)

CDS Attendants must pass a background check with the Family Care Safety Registry and the Employee Disqualification List and must register with the Department of Homeland Security.  CDS Attendants must be at least 18 years old and cannot be the spouse of the CDS Participant. Paraquad runs all required background checks.

Paraquad also provides support and assistance to the CDS Participant as requested regarding training the CDS Attendant.  CDS Attendant and CDS Participant training courses are available at Paraquad throughout the year.

What do CDS Attendants Need to do to Start Working?

All prospective CDS Attendants must come to Paraquad to get set up before they can be the CDS Participant’s CDS Attendant. This is because Paraquad needs to see and make copies of proof of ID.  They will be registered on the Family Care Safety Registry (FCSR) and a background check will be run from the Employee Disqualification List (EDL).

Anyone wanting to register as a CDS Attendant must bring:

  • Current, original state-issued photo ID
  • Original Social Security Card (not a letter!)
  • $12 cash or money order to get registered on the FCSR.  This is a one-time fee.  Once someone is registered, they are registered for good.
     

If the Attendant is already registered on the FCSR, they do not have to bring $12.  However, they do have to bring the current, original state-issued photo ID and the original Social Security Card.

When Can the CDS Attendant Start Working?

No Attendant can start working for an individual until that individual has been assessed by DHSS, approved for CDS, and has been set up and trained by Paraquad as a CDS Participant and a legal employer.  The CDS Participant will receive timesheets from Paraquad and will be given a start date.  This is when the Attendant can begin working.

Who Pays the CDS Attendant?

CDS is funded by MO HealthNet (Medicaid).  (CDS does not accept Medicare or Private Insurance.) CDS Participants must be Medicaid eligible in order for the CDS Attendant to be paid.  The CDS Participant’s approved and verified Attendant services are billed to MO Health Net according to the Care Plan authorized by DHSS.

The CDS Attendant is paid through money received from the CDS Participant’s MO HealthNet for services rendered to the CDS Participant which are approved by the State-authorized Care Plan.

How Much Does the CDS Attendant Get Paid?

Hourly pay rates differ depending upon whether the CDS Attendant has attended one 4-hour training course. CDS Attendant trainings are offered at intervals throughout the year. Please call Paraquad’s Attendant Services Department to ask about current CDS Attendant pay rates. Paraquad pays overtime to CDS Attendants who work more than 40 hours a week for a Participant whose approved care plan is designed for more than 40 hours a week of attendant care.

For more information, email contactus@paraquad.org or call 314/289-4200 (voice).