Human Services offers grants to help start or expand in-home and community services

LuWanna Lawrence
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

BISMARCK, N.D. – Research shows that people want to remain living independently at home as long as possible, even as their physical abilities may change. In North Dakota, caregivers, called qualified service providers (QSPs), provide important supports that help people live independently at home, including a variety of personal care services, meal preparation help and related support.  

The North Dakota Department of Human Services wants to expand access to these in-home care services and is inviting licensed nursing facilities, organizations and individuals who provide or wish to provide care services in the state to apply for grants of up to $30,000 each to start a qualified service provider agency or to expand services offered by existing QSP agencies.

“Many people we serve do not have family members living close, so they need affordable, paid care,” said Nancy Nikolas Maier, director of the department’s Aging Services Division. “We want to work with entrepreneurial individuals and organizations who aspire to support quality care in people’s homes and to improve access to caregiving services.”

Grant recipients must serve individuals participating in Medicaid or one of the state-funded in-home and community-based services programs administered by DHS. They must also agree to provide specific services. Agencies can also, if they choose, serve individuals who pay privately for services. Details are online at www.nd.gov/dhs/services/adultsaging/. 

The department expects to award about ten grants and has allocated $300,000 total for the QSP agency startup and expansion grant program. Applications are due by Nov. 8, 2021. 

Funds can be used for costs associated with establishing an agency office, staff recruitment and retention, employee background checks, training and professional development, promotional materials, and other startup or expansion needs.

Demand for in-home and community-based services is growing across the state. Currently, there are 130 QSP agencies and 955 individual QSPs approved to provide services to North Dakotans receiving in-home and community-based services through department programs. For information on services and QSPs, visit www.nd.gov/dhs/services/adultsaging/homecare.html.

To learn more about care choices, adults with physical disabilities and their family members can contact North Dakota’s Aging and Disability Resource Link toll-free at 855-462-5465, 711 (TTY) or by email at carechoice.nd.gov. Individuals can also explore services at https://carechoice.nd.assistguide.net.