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8412.5 Respite Care

CPS November 2006

Respite care services are child-care services provided for a brief specified time to families that have adopted children with special needs.

Respite care may be provided for all or part of a 24-hour period, either in or out of the home, for as many as 60 days every 12 months.

Note: DFPS counts any part of a 24-hour period as a day of service.

Respite care must be needed to prevent or help resolve a family crisis or address a problem whose solution is critical to the family's healthy functioning. Care must also be included in the adoptive family's service plan.

Note: The contractor must authorize respite care services in advance.

DFPS contracts for respite care to help adoptive families cope with periods of stress.


  •  A member of an adoptive family is suffering from a severe illness.

  •  A child with a disability requires extraordinary care, and the adoptive parents need occasional relief.

  •  An abused child or child with a disability needs continuous care during a period of crisis or recuperation, and the parents cannot stay with the child around the clock.

  •  An adoptive family is either in crisis or experiencing overwhelming stress that will lead to a crisis, and respite care will help to resolve the crisis or relieve the stress.

8412.51 Identifying Eligible Providers

CPS November 2006

Out-of-home respite care must be provided by:

  •  registered or licensed day-care facilities;

  •  licensed or verified foster family homes or group-homes; 

  •  licensed or verified residential facilities that offer specialized care, such as camps, emergency shelters;

  •  programs specifically designed to provide respite care, such as respite-care programs for families with children with disabilities, or Parents Night Out programs;

  •  individuals the adoptive parents have selected to provide respite care; or

  •  programs for children that provide respite care to the adoptive parents while the child is participating in the program.

In-home respite care must be provided by individuals who:

  •  have been specifically trained to provide respite care to children with special needs, or

  •  have been selected by the adoptive family to provide respite care and approved in the service plan for that purpose.

8412.52 Paying for Care

CPS November 2006

Relatives cannot receive payment for respite care.

Exception: The associate commissioner of CPS can authorize a relative to be reimbursed for providing respite care if all three of the following conditions are met the:

  •  adoptive family clearly needs respite care to cope with a period of stress,

  •  relative is the only qualified caregiver available to provide care, and

  •  relative cannot provide the care without reimbursement.

8412.53 Defining Units of Service

CPS November 2006

The unit of service for respite care services is either an hour or a day.

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