Personal Assistant Program

What is the Personal Assistant Program?

About Personal Assistants

The Personal Assistant Program is designed to provide services that address the personal needs of individuals with disabilities. Persons who may benefit from these services may have a permanent disability such as a spinal cord injury or a temporary disability such as a fractured hip.

A personal assistant or P.A. is an individual who assists a person with a disability in activities of daily living. Personal assistance refers to the type of service being provided, which is “personal.”

The personal assistant works under the direction of his or her employer, i.e. the person with the disability.

The activities with which the personal assistant may help include personal care, meal preparation, shopping, errands, and light secretarial duties. This depends on the person’s functional abilities.

Personal assistants allow individuals with disabilities to remain at home instead of being placed in a nursing home, other care facility, or an institution.

Woman assisting another woman in a wheelchair

Personal Assistant Orientation

The Center offers an orientation program for persons interested in becoming personal assistants. The training involves understanding the relationship between the IVCIL, the Division of Rehabilitation Services, and the consumer. Once individuals successfully complete the program, they are placed on a current personal assistant referral list that is made available to consumers upon request. All prospective caregivers attend a two-hour orientation.

This orientation is mandatory to be placed on our personal assistant registry.

All prospective caregivers attend a two hour orientation. At the orientation, a number of different aspects of care-giving are discussed, including:

  • Disability Etiquette
  • Independent Living Philosophy
  • Confidentiality
  • Personal Assistant Characteristics: dependability, reliability, trust, and compassion
  • The Employer-Employee Relationship
  • Fraud abuse, neglect and exploitation, consequences and mandatory reporting
  • The Home Service Plan, the Division of Rehabilitation Services, & any paperwork involved with pay through this agency

Personal Assistant Management Training

This is provided to all participating consumers to enhance management skills of individuals who employ personal assistants. The independent living philosophy is key in the Personal Assistant Program because consumers determine who they will interview, hire, and terminate.

Funding a Personal Assistant

Funding may be available to pay for services, but restrictions for funding (such as age, functional abilities, and income factors) do apply.

P.A. Forms

Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living is seeking self-motivated, responsible and caring individuals to be placed on the IVCIL Personal Assistant (PA) Referral Registry for interview and possible employment by persons with disabilities in their homes. IVCIL serves Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam, and Stark Counties in Illinois.

The pay-rate (set by the State of Illinois) is presently $16.00 per hour.

Successful completion of the Registry process includes: completing and returning the Data Information Form and the Statement of Understanding.

For further information about the program you may contact Data Information Form and Statement of Understanding must be completed and brought to the orientation for which you registered.


Click to download the attached file(s):

Personal Assistant FAQ

If you are interested in becoming a personal assistant and being placed on the IVCIL PA Registry for referrals to consumers. Please go to the PA Forms section, read and follow the directions listed there. Further questions may be directed to our Personal Assistant Coordinator at IVCIL. They can be reached most directly by calling 1-815-224-3126 or by emailing our Personal Assistant Coordinator.

No experience is necessary, but it is helpful when employed by consumers who need more skilled care.

You must be caring, dependable, respectful, and able to maintain confidentiality. In some cases, the job does require that you be in good physical condition and be able to provide lift assistance. Those who are not able to provide lift assistance are encouraged to apply and will not be turned down because of their physical limitations. However, they must still be able to provide the services which are requested by the consumer. This is determined on a case-by-case basis. Please inquire for more information.

The hours are flexible to the consumer’s needs and your own. In many cases, personal assistants are needed in the mornings and some at night. Some consumers need full-time employees and others need only part-time employees. It varies with each person and their functional abilities.

We are always accepting personal assistants to the registry. IVCIL doesn’t necessarily allow more PAs on the registry because of any openings. IVCIL needs more personal assistants to be available when the referrals are requested by the consumers of the IVCIL. Orientations are scheduled monthly and are mandatory in order to be placed on the PA registry. When an opening becomes available, referrals are sent to the consumer who requests the personal assistant registry. Employment is not guaranteed.

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