Family Care and IRIS Resources

Woman in wheelchair catching the subway train.

(Welcome to the resource page for Family Care and IRIS. Are you looking for the Family Care and IRIS Ombudsman Program page?)

Family Care is a long-term care program that helps frail elders and adults with disabilities get the services they need to remain in their homes, instead of moving to institutional or residential care. Family Care offers services to foster independence and quality of life for members. IRIS is short for Include, Respect, and I Self-Direct, a self-directed long-term care option for adults with disabilities who qualify for Medicaid.

Strategies

Disability Rights Wisconsin has a team of IRIS and Family Care Ombudsmen who provide services for people under the age of 60 enrolled or trying to enroll in the IRIS and Family Care programs. (If you are over 60, advocacy resources can be found here) Our attorneys provide information and education on consumer rights, investigate complaints, negotiate and mediate, and assist clients in filing for complaints, appeals, and administrative hearings. They work to guarantee that people in these programs are given the full extent of their rights as part of these programs.

When a pattern of problems emerges that affects several enrollees, DRW staff will address the issue at the level of MCO, IRIS Independent Consultant Agency, ADRC, or provider administration. When appropriate, DRW will also work collaboratively with DHS on such issues.

Referrals

Other places that may be able to help you:

  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC)

    The Aging and Disability Resource Centers throughout Wisconsin provide a variety of services to people with disabilities and older adults including connecting to community resources, benefit specialist services, and long term care options counseling.

  • Board on Aging and Long Term Care

    BOALTC offer the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program to persons age 60 and older who are consumers of Wisconsin long term care programs and in need of advocacy.  They also run the Volunteer Ombudsman Program which offers advocates for residents of nursing homes.

  • Family Care

    Online resource about Family Care program in Wisconsin through the Wisconsin Department of Human Services.

  • IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct)

    Online resource about IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) program in Wisconsin through the Wisconsin Department of Human Services.

Learn More

You can find more information on this topic from these websites and publications:

  • Overview of Family Care program

    Family Care is a long-term care program which helps frail elders and adults with disabilities get the services they need to remain in their homes.

  • Overview of IRIS Program

    The IRIS Program is a Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver for self-directed long-term supports. The program is an option for adults with long term care needs.

Act

Want to do more to help protect individuals with disabilities? Please visit our Take Action Page for some ideas and to sign up for news and other alerts from our website. Or Donate Now to help protect and advocate for the rights and futures of all Wisconsin citizens. We'd love to have you join us.

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