An Oregon Medicaid Agency Supporting Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Frequently Asked Questions


How much do you pay employees?

We pay hourly for direct-contact work with our clients. How much we pay per hour depends on experience and education. It also depends on the kind of work we will be asking you to do. The hourly rate is in the $18-$24.

How many hours can I get?

It will depend on connecting you with clients, but you could get up to 40 hours per week.

Why do you require the auto insurance levels you do?

Our insurance carrier requires that our employees carry $100,000 limit per person/$300,000 limit per accident in Oregon and Washington. You will be driving some pretty precious individuals and it is important to be fully covered.

Can I work if I don’t drive?

That will depend on whether we can contract with clients who are willing to participate in the community on the transit system only. You will be responsible for paying your own fare. Realistically, most clients would prefer to ride in your car.

How does a typical work session go?

You will meet or pick up your client and start the clock and note your mileage. You will take them to whatever activity or appointments are planned. For community inclusion, you may need to assist your client in the planning. While in the community or in groups, you will be responsible for assisting your client with communication. Many of the things you will be doing will be fun for you and for your client. You will take your client to their destination (home, work, bus stop) and record the ending time and miles. You will finish by filing brief progress notes describing your time with your client. An online or paper form will be provided.

Can I bring one of my children with me while I work with a client?

No. You’re being paid for one-on-one supports with your client and must devote your time and attention to that client while on the clock.

What other obligations will I have?

As a person working with disabled adults, you are a mandatory reporter of abuse. You will be trained in what constitutes abuse and be required to not only fill out an incident report, but report the incident by telephone to the appropriate agencies, including your ARISE Mentors supervisor.
You will be responsible for the safety of your client while in the community. You will be obligated to confine your activities to that which is approved by our contract with the client, therefore you must study the contract to understand what is expected.

Are there expenses associated with the job?

The only expense reimbursed for the job is mileage when we have a mileage contract with the client. When activities have an expense, such as bowling, your choice will be to only observe and stay close to your client while they participate directly in the activity, or pay to join in. For example, with bowling, you can either stand by as a kind of cheerleader for the client, or you can pay to bowl with them.
When it comes to meals, it is best for you to pack a meal or a snack. You may find that your client wants to eat at a restaurant. We can’t reimburse you for meals, so your choice is between waiting until you’re done for the day to eat, bring a lunch or snack, or pay for your own meal. If you choose not to buy a meal at the restaurant, just order water and support your client in their restaurant experience.
The Portland area has many venues for activities where support workers are allowed to participate for free. Check with the venue in advance. For example, Regal Cinemas usually lets support workers into movies for free with their clients.

How do I keep from getting fired?

Know our rules. Keep them. Understand what constitutes abuse and be completely professional at all times. Respect your client and stick to activities in the contract. Don’t go over your hours or miles.

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