California Department of Social Services - State Hearings Division
Notes from the Training Bureau - May 28, 1999

Item 99-05-02C
Assessing IHSS Needs for Children

In Garrett v. Anderson, the San Diego Superior Court stated procedures when assessing a minorís need for protective supervision. Among the instructions in Garrett was that when assessing the needs of a minor for protective supervision, the social worker should determine whether the minor needs more supervision because of his/her impairment than a minor of the same age without such impairment. A similar standard should be used when assessing the needs of a child in areas other than protective supervision.

There is no specific IHSS regulation that states that the county should assess a childís need for IHSS any differently than it would assess the needs of an adult. However, both Welfare and Institutions Code Section 12300(a) and MPP Section 30-700.1 specify that the purpose of the IHSS program is to provide services to aged, blind and disabled persons who are unable to perform those services and cannot remain safely in their home without such services. Implicit in the statute and regulation is that services should be authorized to persons who cannot perform services because they are aged, blind or disabled.

In the case of a child, IHSS may be authorized due to blindness or disability. Services may not be authorized for routine child care that every parent provides to normal, healthy children. Thus when assessing the needs of a child, services should be authorized only to the extent that the blind or disabled child requires more services than a healthy child would require.

For example, if a parent-provider requests meal preparation for a severely disabled ten year old, no time should be authorized if the parent is simply preparing the same three meals a day that any parent would be prepare for nondisabled children. However, time could be authorized for the parent-provider to cut food into bite-size pieces if the ten year old is unable to do so, since a parent would not normally cut food for a ten year old.