Partnering with Families in Self-Direction

Friday, November 24, 2023
Zuleyka (right) plays at her neighborhood park with Lucia Hernandez Sanchez, her caregiver. Photo courtesy PICS.
Zuleyka (right) plays at her neighborhood park with Lucia Hernandez Sanchez, her caregiver. Photo courtesy PICS.

PICS supports families who receive home health care services.

Becca Schultz, senior service coordinator at PICS (Partners in Community Supports), knows that the journey to getting started with self-directed services can be confusing. “We try to make it as easy as possible,” said Becca.

Self-directed services are home health care services for individuals with disabilities and older adults funded by Medicaid waivers. To receive paid caregiving at home, an individual must be determined eligible by the state to receive funding. “The very first step is to have a MNChoices Assessment so that you know if you can receive self-directed services,” explained Becca. Minnesota county and tribal offices offer the MNChoices Assessment, which is for people of any age in need of long-term care.

After the assessment determines that an individual is eligible for home and community-based services, they can choose to receive care in their own homes and communities from people they already know and trust, like family members and friends. That is where an organization like PICS comes in.

“When families contact PICS, they are directed to our enrollment team,” said Becca. “We set up an enrollment meeting with them and send all necessary paperwork to get started.”

After enrolling, PICS then handles the details of self-directed services, like reimbursing expenses, handling taxes, and managing payroll.


PICS makes it easy for families to enroll in self-directed services. 


Supporting Each Family’s Unique Needs

Xochilpitzahua Flores Cerro’s daughter Zuleyka receives support at home and in the community through Consumer Directed Community Supports, a self-directed service offered by PICS.

“It’s a big challenge, but it’s a blessing, too,” Xochil said of her daughter’s needs.

Becca serves as the family’s service coordinator. “At PICS, each person is assigned to their own service coordinator so that they have a direct contact,” said Becca. 

“What I do is manage the budgets,” she added. “All of our families receive a grant or a waiver which allows them to stay in their home and community. The funding makes it so they can hire staff, make necessary home modifications for accessibility, and purchase goods and services that best fit their needs.”

The service coordinator’s role ensures that no details are missed. “We serve behind-the-scenes for the families,” Becca said.

Xochil emphasized that she looks at the relationship with PICS as a partnership. “They help me with what decision I can take,” she said, “but the last word is my word, my decision.”


Xochil Flores Cerro describes partnering with PICS for her daughter’s self-directed services. Video courtesy of PICS.


Getting Started with PICS

“Accessibility is at the forefront of all we do,” said Alaina Ericksen, senior director of PICS. “We ensure accessibility in the mobility sense as well as cultural accessibility with materials in a variety of languages.”

PICS’ services are available in any language through an interpretive service. Many materials, including the PICS website, are available in English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish.

PICS’ enrollment team is available to support families as they start the enrollment process by phone at 651.967.5060 or by emailing


About PICS

PICS (Partners in Community Supports) has offered self-directed care options to individuals and families for more than 20 years. Services are offered in all languages.