Self-directed respite care for children 0-21
Everyone needs a break. You’re no exception.
Giving your child constant, loving support can be physically, emotionally and mentally draining.
It leaves you with little extra time to spend time with friends, do important errands and tasks, and get the emotional support you need to recharge.
Self-directed respite services allow you to choose and hire a caregiver for your child and get reimbursed for the costs. Once you choose your respite provider, we’ll handle all of the details to make sure your care goes smoothly, and you’ll get started right away.
What is self-directed respite?
TeamCare’s self-directed respite program allows the parent or guardian of a child with special needs to recruit their respite provider of choice—such as a friend or relative—to care for their child on a schedule that suits their family’s needs. The program provides financial reimbursement to families for the expense they incur in paying someone to provide respite care for their child.
In short? Your child gets to spend productive, quality time each week with someone you both trust. You pay your respite worker directly for their time, and then get reimbursed for those costs each month. Yes—it’s really that simple.
“My son counts down to respite days”
“They play games together, do cooking exercises and go to the park. They’ll jump on the trampoline, ride bikes together and she does schoolwork with him too. So there’s this great feeling that they’re also accomplishing things. My son counts down to respite days.”
-A grateful TeamCare mom
How does it work?
Apply through PerformCare
We’ll walk you through the process of applying for respite care through PerformCare to confirm your eligibility.
Choose your provider
Choose a respite provider that you and your child are comfortable with. It can be anyone—a friend, neighbor, or relative—as long as they’re over 18 and don’t live with you.
Then, we’ll get your chosen respite provider approved and onboarded.
Going to the park
Get paid on time, and enjoy
Your respite worker logs their time online, and you get a reimbursement check in the mail by the 15th of every month.
“The best medicine! It gave me time to just be”
“I was very overwhelmed, very anxious and depressed. Just because I didn’t have the support. My reserves were low. I just didn’t have a lot of energy. Then I heard that I can get respite. It really gave me the time and the space to just take a minute to sit with my face to the sun or just look at the birds or up at the sky. That’s really the best medicine for me — having that space to just be. I feel like it also improved my marriage.”
—Debra DeOliveira, mom and TeamCare NJ client
What are the benefits of respite care?
If you find yourself trying to pour from an empty cup, you’re not alone. Everyone occasionally needs relief from the daily grind. Not only will you benefit from respite care, but your child will, too.
How you benefit
Get a well-deserved break from the burdens of everyday life, and take some time to yourself to rest, run errands, or catch up on household chores.
Respite care allows you an opportunity to strengthen and foster relationships with your children, spouses, partners, other family members, and friends.
Caring for a child with special needs can be extremely stressful for many parents. Respite care is designed in part to alleviate this stress.
How your child benefits
Your child will enjoy quality time with someone they feel connected to, who loves and cares for them.
Through the joy of play, your child will build crucial skills that enable them to complete daily routines more easily and gain independence.
Your child will learn how to create and maintain relationships and communicate in a healthy, productive way.
“Respite helped me get stronger”
“Respite helped me get stronger. When my husband and I were in a better place, my son became much calmer. Just the fact that my son was able to be around new and fresh people that weren’t so exhausted and drained did wonders. She was able to give him so much, coming in with fresh and excited energy!”
— Joseph’s mom and TeamCare NJ client
Frequently asked questions
How do I apply to get respite services?
Who can I hire as a respite worker?
You’re free to choose any trusted adult, as long as they don’t live with you. Your respite worker can be a friend, neighbor, relative or staff member from your child’s school—whoever is the best fit for your family.
What will my respite worker need to do to qualify? Is there a lot of paperwork or training?
Not at all. All your worker will need to do is complete two simple online forms, pass a background check by getting fingerprinted (at no cost to you), and get a tuberculin (TB) skin test. It’s quick and easy, and we’ll be there to help your worker every step of the way. We’ll also provide a helpful training manual for them to review.
How many hours of respite services can I get?
If you’re eligible for respite care, you can receive up to 60 hours every 90 days. You can use the hours as needed during that period. We recommend using 20 hours per month (5 hours per week) so that you get respite on a regular basis and your child stays on a consistent schedule.
We’ll help you create a respite service plan to make the most of your respite hours, so your respite provider can work towards goals such as improving social skills, mastering basic chores and enhancing communication—and you can get the break you need and deserve.
How will my worker track their hours?
How and when will I get paid?
You pay your respite worker directly and we reimburse you by check. At the end of each month, we review all the hours submitted during that month. We send out checks on the second Wednesday of each month to cover hours submitted the month prior.
What will my child do during respite time?
Whatever they enjoy! Your respite worker can help your child with lots of activities, like going to the park, playing games, making art projects or doing homework.
When’s the last time you took a deep breath?
Shoot us a message here, or call us at 732-884-2273. No question is too big or too small.