Respite Support

Last Updated: February 12, 2021

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Extended: Flexible Use of Direct Funded/At Home Program Respite

Until March 31, 2022, families who receive Direct Funding/At Home Program basic respite can continue to use their respite funding in a flexible manner. Families do not need to provide a record of respite expense forms for agreements expiring before March 31, 2022.

Families and their respite providers continue to work together to create a schedule that allows everyone involved to remain safe and healthy. If families are unable to find a respite caregiver, funds can be used later when they are able to find someone or explore flexible options for receiving a break from caregiving activities. Some flexible options may include, but are not limited to, meal prep/grocery shopping assistance, home maker supports, caregiver relief support for siblings, on-line programs for children who are CYSN eligible, counselling services, and other options that support family functioning and alleviate stress.

Families are encouraged to contact their CYSN worker if they would like support in planning for respite.

Contact your local CYSN office

Staying Safe While Using Respite

MCFD encourages families using respite services to follow the recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer.  Many families of children with special needs are interacting with a very small group of people and are carefully following public directives related to social distancing, limiting contact with non-family members and minimizing the risk of contagion. Families are relying on members of their inner circle to provide much needed respite and are ensuring that those who are providing support are following those public health measures.

Respite workers are similarly doing what they can to keep themselves healthy and to preserve the well-being of the families they serve. For this reason, they are striving to provide support in accordance with guidelines laid out by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

  • Follow preventative measures such as regular hand washing, not touching the face, and avoiding contact with individuals demonstrating symptoms
  • The number of different staff that support individuals should be kept to the minimum number operationally possible to reduce the likelihood of transmission.
  • Transportation of individuals should allow for physical distancing to be maintained and ideally should be kept to a minimum.

There are also respite homes that are funded directly by MCFD. These resources can be family care homes (foster homes) and staffed homes (contracted residential agency operated homes). MCFD has been communicating regularly with all foster homes and contracted residential agencies. This includes information on the guidelines and recommendations from the BCCDC.

Expiring Agreements between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022

Families who have basic Direct Funded/At Home Program Respite Agreements ($256.66/month) expiring before March 31, 2022 will not need to provide Record of Respite Expense Forms. The monthly payment will continue to families with a two-month time frame to submit a copy of a signed agreement.

Families with an Enhanced Respite Agreement (over $256.66/ month) expiring by March 31, 2022 will need to contact their CYSN worker about renewing their agreement. Families will be required to continue submitted Records of Expense Forms for Enhanced Respite Agreements. CYSN workers will consider the need for flexibility when reviewing records.