Regional Centers provide respite service for those with disabilities who need more care and supervision compared to other typically developing individuals.
Respite care service hours vary depending on the individual with disabilities and the needs of the family. Generally, in-home respite care which is for the need of the family can be 16 hours or less per month.
Those individuals with disabilities who do not live with their families but live in facilities more than 21 days per year are not eligible for respite care, and In-Home Respite Care cannot be more than 90 hours per 3-month period. However, following Social Wellbeing and Organizational Code 4686.5, Regional Centers can remove the limit of respite hours in case of the need for family care and supervision for the protection and management of those with disabilities, or in the special case of the lives of family members impacted by the protection and management.
The definition of family for the removal of respite hour limitation includes
- Person living with developmental disabilities
- Person protecting and supervising those living with disabilities for 24 hours. Approved residential care facilities or foster care families that are financially supported by public agencies or regional centers for the protection and supervision of disabilities are not included. However, relatives with foster care funds are not excluded from respite care services.
For emergencies or special occasions, short term services are available. Respite care is generally provided in a home environment. However, respite service over 24 hours can only be for those cases where licensed local social protection organizations or health care agencies are available. Respite care can be provided by professionals from vendored in-home care organizations or home health agencies.
Parents have the right to choose a professional if they are getting services from in-home respite care organizations. In-Home respite care professionals must have been hired before they receive the support from the regional centers. Nurses with a license, and registered by family /health organizations are for disabilities with medical needs.
The necessity and hours for respite services are determined through the IPP process considering the disabled individuals and their family preferences. Regional centers also consider general family support necessary for raising typically developing children. Respite care is not for behavior modification treatment. Parents must participate in group behavior modification training for aggressive behavior and additional respite care hours can be approved during the training period. Regional centers will not approve additional respite care services for family vacations, parent meetings, or trainings/education for behavior modification other than the ones appointed by regional centers.
Below are the requirements for additional respite hours.
- Disabled children or adult developmental disabilities exhibit behaviors requiring special treatments, i.e. aggressive, self-inflicting behaviors or damaging property which might result in endangering others.
- If one needs special medical treatment such as convulsion or monitoring difficulty in breathing. Gastrostomy (punching a hole in the stomach to feed or extract gastric fluid), tracheotomy (surgically creating an opening in the neck leading directly to the trachea, breathing tube, to create an opening in airway, remove secretions, and/or to use breathing assisting device for a long term) or the need of special device management.
- Considering the age, if she or he needs additional times and assistance in self-care than others. It includes cases where it is difficult to perform everyday living tasks such as eating food, going to the bathroom, changing clothes, bathing, or communication.
- Cases of special family environment such as illness, single parent family, more than two disabled children in the family, or families with severe financial difficulties. Parents who cannot raise their children due to their parents’ illnesses, age, and/or disabilities are included.