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Respite is the “provision of short-term relief (respite) from the tasks associated with care-giving. Respite services include traditional home-based care, such as hiring an attendant, and care provided to the recipient in out-of-home care settings, such as day services and short-term stays in respite centers or other care facilities. Respite can vary in time from part of a day to several weeks.”
Who Needs Respite Care?
- Ongoing, continuous caregivers
- Spouses who care for partners with disabilities
- Parents of adults with disabilities
- Adult children caring for siblings with disabilities
- Parents of children with disabilities
- Adult children caring for parents with disabilities
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
DHHS has a Lifespan Respite Subsidy Program that offers money to help families with loved ones who have special needs (from birth to death) to pay for respite care. Families choose their own providers, decide how much to pay per hour or per day, and set their own schedules. This program can help only those families who do not receive services from any other governmental program. For information or to see if you quality for the Respite Subsidy Program click here or call 866-RES-PITE.
DHHS Approved Service Providers
DHHS does have a list of approved service providers; however, clients are not required to use approved providers for the Lifespan Respite Subsidy Program. To be approved by DHHS as service providers, individual providers must meet standards and pass background checks, including those listed below.
- Criminal history
- Adult Protective Services registry
- Child central registry
- Sex offender registry
- Nurse aide registry
Nebraska Respite Network
In 1999, the Nebraska Legislature created The Nebraska Respite Network through the Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the Nebraska Respite Network is to provide a statewide system for the coordination of respite resources that serves all ages (across the lifespan). There are six service-areas with Respite Coordinators who are responsible for information and referrals for families needing access to respite, recruitment or respite providers, coordinating training opportunities for providers and consumers and quality assurance and program evaluation. To view a list of Respite Coordinators click here or call 866-RES-PITE. Note: The Nebraska Respite Network is a free service to the public. You do not need to be approved through the Subsidy Program to utilize this service.
Things To Consider When Selecting A Respite Provider:
- What kind of services do I need (long and/or short-term) and why?
- Do I prefer services in my home or an outside setting?
- Even if a provider is DHHS-approved or comes from another referral source, it is still extremely important to conduct your own interview.
Questions To Ask Respite Providers:
- What is the training and level of experience of the care providers? Will they need additional training to meet specific family needs?
- What kind of security or background check has been done on the individual providing the care?
- How much experience do you have working with individuals on the autism spectrum?
- Does the program maintain current information about each child’s needs? Is there a written care plan?
- How and by whom are the care providers supervised?
- What happens during the time the children are receiving services? Are there organized activities? How are the meals handled?
- What procedures does the program have for emergencies?
- Can parents meet and interview the individuals who care for the children?
- Does the program provide transportation?
- Are families limited to a certain number of hours of services?
- Can the provider take care of siblings as well?