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SCARC Announces New Service for Children with Developmental Disabilities
Self-Hired Respite Available for Individuals Under 21
Families facing the challenges of providing care for their children with developmental disabilities can access a new support through SCARC’s Self-Hired Respite service. Respite is a support that allows families short-term relief from their day-to-day care duties. They may use the time to care for other families members, run errands, or just take a break. Many families prefer to hire someone they choose, or someone they already know and trust, to provide care for their child. Self-Hired Respite offers that option. It also helps families who grow concerned that they will be “wearing out their welcome” with unpaid caregivers who frequently do them the favor of providing care. Self-Hired Respite allows families to compensate these natural supports that are so critical on the long journey of caring for a family member with developmental disabilities.
The three main services that SCARC currently offers for children are Agency-Hired Respite, Agency Weekend Recreation, and Summer Experience. This new program, Self-Hired Respite, will allow families to hire their own caregiver – perhaps a neighbor, relative, or friend – to provide care for their child. Families may utilize sixty hours of care within a ninety day period at a rate of $11 per hour.
Self-Hired Respite is funded by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Eligible families can contact PerformCare and request this service (Under DCF’s System of Care, PerformCare acts as administrator – 877-652-7624). Families may not be receiving any other form of respite at the same time as this service. Also, families must renew their Family Support Application with PerformCare every year*. That can be done by phoning the above referenced number.
- Once families have been approved by DCF for this service, they will meet with SCARC’s Senior Coordinator of Family Support to complete SCARC Intake Forms. After those forms are complete the family may begin utilizing their respite hours. They may use them on a regular basis or all at once within the ninety day period. It is up to the discretion and need of the family. Hours not utilized during the ninety days cannot be carried over into the next ninety day period.
- Families may hire any caregiver they wish over the age of eighteen who can provide the level of care required by the child (does not include the parent themselves). Anyone hired is required to complete a criminal background check, fingerprinting, and a mantoux test within sixty days of hire. Services will be suspended if these requirements are not met within the required time period.
- Families will receive blank calendars and a Calendar Submission Form in order to document their use of respite hours.
- The calendar will be completed by the caregiver noting the dates and hours worked and notes about activities or care provided.
- Families will sign the calendar to verify that the information is correct. They will submit the form to SCARC each month within five days of its monthly due date.
- Once the proper documentation is received by SCARC, a check will be mailed to the family with which they can pay the caregiver.
Complete information on this service can be found in SCARC’s Self-Hired Respite Program Guidelines.
The needs of children with developmental disabilities are as diverse as the families who care for them. SCARC endeavors to provide a wide range of options to assist families in not only meeting the needs of their children, but in maintaining the stability and well being of the whole family. Self-Hired Respite is SCARC’s newest contribution to this goal.
*The Family Support Application due date will be noted on the bottom of the Calendar Submission Form. The Application must be renewed before that date or the service will not be reauthorized.