Child Respite Services

Home & Habilitation Respite services are direct services to meet regulatory and/or contractual requirements that are provided to supervise/support people with mental retardation on a short-term basis due to the absence or need for relief of those persons normally providing care. Respite services do not cover the care provided to a minor child when the primary caregiver or legally responsible individual is absent due to work. Services are limited to people residing in their own (unlicensed) home; the (unlicensed) home of a relative, friend, or other family; or family living homes. Individuals can receive two categories of respite services:
  1. 24-hour overnight respite and temporary respite. Overnight respite is provided in segments of 24-hour units and includes overnight care. Temporary respite is respite services provided on less than a 24-hour overnight basis. Overnight respite is limited to 4 weeks (28 days) per individual per fiscal year, except when extended by an ODP Regional Office waiver.
  2. Temporary respite is recommended at a maximum of four sessions per month, but this limit may be adjusted by the AE based on individual needs. When there is an ongoing and regular need for the relief of caregivers, the more appropriate service is Home and Community Habilitation where there is the expectation that individuals will receive a service that is of greater benefit to them than basic care and supervision.
  3. Federal and State financial participation through the waivers is limited to:

    1. Services provided for individuals residing in their own unlicensed home or the unlicensed home of relative, friend, or other family. Respite services are not available for individuals who reside in agency-operated homes.
    2. Four weeks of overnight respite per individual in a period of one fiscal year except when extended by an ODP Regional Office waiver pursuant to Family Resource Services Regulations, Title 55 PA Code Chapter 6350.16.
    3. Temporary respite up to a recommended maximum of four times per month, but this limit may be adjusted by the AE based on individual needs.

    Respite services may only be provided in the following location(s):

    • Recipient's home or place of residence located in Pennsylvania.
    • Licensed or approved foster family home located in Pennsylvania.
    • Licensed community or family living home located in Pennsylvania.
    • Unlicensed home of a provider meeting the qualifications.
    • Other community settings such as summer camp where the setting meets applicable state or local codes and the provider of service meets the provider qualifications established by the Department.