What are Respite Services?

Respite services are services that are provided to assist in maintaining a goal of living in a natural community home by temporarily relieving the unpaid primary caregiver (e.g., family members and/or adult family foster care providers) and is provided during those portions of the day when the caregivers are not being paid to provide care.  Respite is not intended to be provided on a continuous, long-term basis where it is a part of daily services that would enable an unpaid caregiver to work elsewhere full-time.  In those cases, community living supports, or other services of paid support or training staff, should be used.  Decisions about the methods and amounts of respite should be decided during person-centered planning.  PIHPs may not require active clinical treatment as a prerequisite for receiving respite care.  These services do not supplant or substitute for community living support or other services of paid support/training staff.

Respite care may be provided in the following settings:

  • Beneficiary's home or place of residence
  • Licensed family foster care home
  • Facility approved by the State that is not a private residence (e.g., group home or licensed respite care facility)
  • Home of a friend or relative chosen by the beneficiary and members of the planning team
  • Licensed camp
  • In community (social/recreational) settings with a respite worker trained, if needed, by the family

Respite care may not be provided in:

  • day program settings
  • ICF/MRs, nursing homes, or hospitals

Respite care my not be provided by:

  • parent of a minor beneficiary receiving the service
  • spouse of the beneficiary servced
  • beneficiary's guardian
  • unpaid primary care giver

Cost of room and board must not be included as part of the respite care unless proviced as part of the respite care in a facility that is not a private residence.