About Options CIL Personal Assistant (PA) Program

As a center for Independent Living, Options CIL strives to promote home and community based living, deflect nursing facility placement, and empower individuals with disabilities to live self-directed lives. Through funding received from Illinois Department of Human Services’ Division of Rehabilitation services (IDHS/DRS), Options CIL actively recruits and trains prospective personal assistants, offers guidance and training on employing personal assistants, and provides advocacy as requested to customers of the Home Services program.

Personal Assistant Management

Provided by a grant by Illinois Department of Human Services, home service customers can receive individual or group training on hiring, managing, and firing their Personal Assistants.

Personal Assistant (PA) Orientation

If you are interested in working as a Personal Assistant for people with disabilities receiving Home Services in Kankakee or Iroquois County, attending this free orientation will provide you with the information you need. Upon completion of orientation, your name and contact information will be added to our Personal Assistant Registry and provided to Home Service customers in need of a Personal Assistant. For more information or to register for an orientation, please call us at 815-936-0100 ext 225 or TTY 815-936-0132 or email our PA Advocate at [email protected].

Those who complete the PA Orientation should note that Options CIL is not their employer and that completing the class in no way guarantees employment as a personal assistant. Completion of the class does enable the participant’s name to be placed on the Options’ PA referral list that is provided to people with disabilities who are DHS Home Services customers.


FAQ’s for people interested in working as a PA

What is a Personal Assistant?

Personal Assistants (PA’s), work for individuals with disabilities in their homes, receiving home services through IDHS/DRS. Each Home Service Program customer has a formal Service plan developed by IDHS/DRS and the tasked listed on the service plan may include: dressing, toileting, grooming, household chores, and other activities of daily living.

How does a Personal Assistant get paid?

PA’s are paid by IDHS/DRS.

Who is my employer?

The Home Services Program customer is your employer.

How does a Personal Assistant find employment?

One way to find employment is to complete our Personal Assistant Orientation (PAO) and have your name  added to our PA registry. The registry is mailed out, upon request, to Home service customers interested in hiring a PA.

What information is provided during PA orientations?

PA orientations include an overview of the following IDHS/DRS information:

  • DHS guidelines for home service customers and personal assistants.
  • DHS transportation guidelines.
    DHS Service Plans.
  • DHS Electronic Visit Verification.
  • DHS Time Sheets, Payment Policies, and Payroll Schedule.
  • Information is also provided on disability etiquette, independent Living, Fraud, Abuse/neglect/exploitation, and basic training related to Universal Precautions (managing good hygiene) and use of various medical equipment.