What is Respite Care?

Respite Care services allow families a break or relief from meeting the special needs of their relatives. Respite Care may be arranged to allow a North Star Support Service (NSSS) Support Coordinator to evaluate an individual’s self-help, personal care or householder skills in preparation for residential placement or to allow a child or adult the experience of being away from home prior to out-of-home placement.

How Does it Work?

All requests for Respite Care must first be approved by a Support Coordinator who determines the eligibility for service. There is no charge for Respite Care Services and individuals may not exceed 31 overnight visits per calendar year.  Once eligibility has been determined, the Support Coordinator makes a referral to Family Services for a tour and to schedule visits.

In preparation for Respite Services, the support coordinator forwards a copy of the current ISP for the person. The parent/guardian must provide a recent physical (within the past year), details of current medications and emergency contacts to FSI and is asked to sign a Consent for Respite Services Form, a Bill of Rights and a Civil Rights Awareness Form.

During respite services, staff are responsible for providing or supervising the mealtime, dressing, sleeping and bathing activities of each individual. They also provide or supervise age-appropriate activities in the home or community. If an individual comes to respite with an active Behavioral Support Plan or Guide of Support, the staff is responsible for implementing these following appropriate training in the Respite Care home. It is also the responsibility of Respite staff to plan and prepare meals, grocery shop and do housekeeping and laundry.

Respite Care staff are expected to document any notable changes in status, reactions to medicine, or other relevant information for the Respite Care Team Leader on the Log Sheet. Such information allows the Team Leader to recommend to the Support Coordinator appropriate referrals for unmet needs.