What is Respite Care?
Respite is intended to provide temporary relief for the primary caregiver from the demands of caring for an individual with disabilities during the times when the caregiver would normally be available to provide care. This service is intended to provide care and supervision to your child either in their own home or outside their primary residence. The service relieves family members from care on a temporary or emergency basis for short periods of time. Respite care services are designed to offer families the opportunity for a break from caregiving responsibilities. Respite also provides a positive experience for the individual receiving care. Respite allows parents time to engage in activities that they find relaxing, entertaining, or restful while a trained respite provider cares for your child. This service falls in the category of family support services.
Intro (How we Begin?)
We know the process of starting respite services can be overwhelming. While every child’s services follow a unique plan individualized to fit that child’s strengths and needs, there is a certain pattern you can expect to see.
The New Jersey Children’s System of Care offers services for eligible youth that are impacted by intellectual and developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and seizure disorders like epilepsy. To access services for children with intellectual or developmental disabilities through CSOC, families must first complete an eligibility application.
How to apply for Family Support Services
Applications for eligibility for developmental disability services for children under age 18 must be submitted to PerformCare, the Contracted System Administrator for the New Jersey Children’s System of Care (CSOC).
The application materials below may be downloaded and printed out for completion by hand. Please refer to the instructions to the right for guidance on completing the required application forms and submitting the required supporting documentation.
Forms A through D listed are required, along with appropriate medical and other documentation as identified in the forms. For those who prefer, this application is also available to complete online, with real-time tracking of your application status.
What to expect after you apply
Once PerformCare receives your application, it will be sent to the DD Eligibility Unit to confirm that all required forms and documents are included. After an initial review of the application, you will receive a letter to explain what is still needed if your application is missing any documents and/or other information needed to make a decision. A decision will be made within 60 days after the DD Eligibility Unit has all the information they need.
If your child is eligible for services, you will receive an eligibility letter from PerformCare. If the child does not appear to be eligible, the application materials will be sent for further review. This second review, if necessary, may extend the decision beyond 60 days.
If you are approved for an available Family Support Service, the agency providing the requested service will contact you once they have an opening in their program. You will also receive a letter from PerformCare indicating authorization of the service.
What is our focus?
The main focus of Empower U.’s respite services is to promote self-independence, socialization, and fun in a therapeutic way.
While our respite program is structured and therapeutic, our technicians do all activities with fun for the kids in mind. We focus on fun because the kids are inundated with structured programs and formal rules and it’s important for them to receive these services but in a way that they can relate to and enjoy.
Prior to being enrolled EmpowerU will hold an individual meeting with each family to gather all background information about each child. This information will include allergies, medications, therapists, coping methods, overall vision, monthly schedule, and approved pick-up list. All this information is required to help us service your child to the best of our ability.
EmpowerU is a hands off agency. No restraint or body contact will be made between providers and youth at any point or in any lines of service.
Empower U offers 3 types of Respite services:
AAS– After-school respite is designed to focus on fun because the kids are already involved with various structured programs and formal rules. It’s important for them to receive these services in a way that they can relate to and enjoy.
Each day children participate in different organized activities including but not limited to: sensory and motor stimulating activities, physical fitness, life-skills building, daily independence, and play therapy. We also offer homework help, provide snacks, transportation and utilize a secure application that allows parents to receive daily updates on their child’s day.
20 Hours Weekly.
Participation is not required every day.
AHR– Agency-hired respite is a personal one-to-one service for children whose needs may range from mentoring to assistance with activities of daily living.
5 Hours Weekly.
The schedule is based upon the Family and Provider Agreement.
Each authorization period is 90 days. After those 90 days, the family will be contacted regarding the continuation of services.
Missed hours can be made up within the current authorization period.
AWR– Agency weekend recreation is designed to get children out into the community to engage with others and participate in physical or recreational activities in a group setting.
6 Hours Weekly.
The schedule is based upon the Family and Provider Agreement.
Transportation and activity costs included.
Services for Children with Developmental Disabilities
Empower U. offers respite care services to children with developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder throughout the State of New Jersey. These services are designed to provide supervision so families raising children with autism can rest and recharge while the needs of the youth are met by our supports.We offer 3 distinct respite care types that can be flexibly applied to meet the needs of each child and family we serve.