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How to Apply for In-Home Support Services (IHSS) Protective Supervision

How to Apply for In-Home Support Services (IHSS) Protective Supervision








Protective Supervision is part of the In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program in California. If you are raising a child with a developmental disability, such as autism, Down syndrome or cerebral palsy, you might be eligible for Protective Supervision, which allows financial support of up to $3,000 per month. This program is especially for children with disabilities who exhibit dangerous behavior without regard to consequences, and who need someone to supervise them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to minimize injury to themselves.

An example of this behavior would be called eloping or wandering away. Many children with autism engage in this behavior. Other examples of behavior that some children exhibit that qualify for IHSS Protective Supervision are climbing up high, banging their head on the floors, walls or people, punching or slapping themselves in the face, or scratching themselves until they bleed.

If your child engages in any of the examples listed above or similar activities, you should pursue getting Protective Supervision.

Applying for Protective Supervision

If you feel your child might meet the qualifications, call your social worker and ask for an assessment for IHSS Protective Supervision.

Because case workers are so overloaded, you must keep calling every single week and checking in if you have an open case waiting for a decision. Additionally, you must have these documents organized and ready to submit:

  • Dangerous Behavior Log: a list of any self-harming behaviors your child has shown over the past six to 12 months.
  • IHSS SOC 821 Protective Supervision Form: print this form and take it, along with the dangerous behavior log, to the doctor who treats your child. Do not mail in this form or drop it off at the doctor’s office. Sit in person with the doctor while she fills out the form, while telling her to use your list of dangerous behavior from your log to write on the form. Make sure that most of the boxes are marked severe or at least moderate.
  • Regional Center Individual Program Plan (IPP):This is a document created by the Regional Center. An IPP identifies the goals for your child, who will provide services or support to reach these goals and if there is a cost associated with the service or support, who will fund it.
  • Client Development Evaluation Report (CDER):this is a document created by the Regional Center. It’s a summary of your child’s abilities and the challenges associated with his or her disability.
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP): this document will be created by your child’s school. The IEP outlines that your child is eligible for special education and related services to benefit from the general education program. It’s not a contract, but it does guarantee the necessary support and services that are agreed upon and written for your child.

Now look through all three documents: IPP, CDER, and IEP, to see if any of the three mentions any of the dangerous behavior your child engages in, and highlight them.

If there are behaviors he engages in that are not noted, you could call a meeting and have them added to his school and/or Regional Center reports.

Once you have all the above completed, call your social worker and tell him or her that you are applying for IHSS Protective Supervision. Also, keep track of every phone call, email or in-person contact you have with IHSS, including the date, time, the person you spoke with, and a summary of your conversation. 

Meeting the Social Worker

When you meet the social worker for the home assessment, hand him or her the following:

  • Dangerous Behavior Log
  • Completed SOC 821 Form
  • IEP with the items highlighted
  • CDER with the items highlighted
  • IPP with the items highlighted

Always make a complete copy of everything you give to IHSS. 

If this process sounds daunting and you need help, you can always reach out to us. Our advocates can lead you through everything, as well as provide resources to better assist you and your child with special needs.

Go to or call us directly at (877) 762-0702, and we will assist you in getting your child the funding he or she deserves.

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