Advocacy Successes

In 2020, Brandi and Lauryn became parent providers for their minor children in Arizona through a temporary program flexibility during the Covid-19 pandemic. Seeing the success and benefits of this program, they embarked on a grassroots advocacy effort to make the program permanent, connecting with thousands of fellow caregivers in Arizona. In the spring of 2021 Lauryn and Brandi created a petition, published a portfolio that was sent to state officials, and built valuable relationships that catapulted their voices to be heard by decision makers in Arizona. 

The temporary program alleviated concerns such as a Direct Care Worker shortage, lack of continuity of care, and employment instability for families with disabled minors. Through their advocacy efforts, Brandi and Lauryn were able to extend the program beyond the public health emergency through Federal funding provided by the American Rescue Plan, leading to positive outcomes such as increased caregiver retention, greater housing stability and reduced stress levels for parent caregivers.

Following a survey conducted by Raising Voices Coalition in 2023 highlighting the positive impact of the program, Brandi and Lauryn led a movement to advocate for a permanent Parents as Paid Caregivers program in Arizona. After facing initial restrictions in the proposal, they rallied thousands or parent caregivers to utilize their voices which successfully changed the proposal to allow parents to provide both Habilitation and Attendant Care services to their minor children permanently. Their efforts have led to significant improvements in support for families with disabled minors in Arizona. As of February 2024, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has approved this program in their Arizona 1115 waiver.

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