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Respite Services

According to the dictionary, respite is defined as an interval of rest or relief. Our respite service allows a person with special needs who depends upon you for daily care to remain comfortably at home when you are absent. It allows you and your family relief from the constant duties and responsibilities of caregiving and an opportunity for rest and self-renewal. It offers you and the person depending on you, a new and positive experience with confidence. You have the assurance that your Respite Care Provider and FCS have spent many hours in program development, planning, and training in order to provide a dependable professional service. Finally, you, your family and FCS work together to design your individual respite service specifically for your special situation.

Respite Program

The philosophy of Full Circle Support’s program is based on the principles of mainstreaming, normalization and self reliance. Full Circle Support believes that respite care can provide support to the family unit and enhance your family member’s growth and development. The Respite Program offers personalized services and support to individuals of all ages with special needs and their families. The Respite Program staff is trained to be responsible to you and your family.


Eligibility and Payment

A) Full Circle Support currently provides respite care services to clients authorized by several funding sources, including Regional Centers.

B) The funding source determines who is eligible for FCS’ respite services and authorizes a specific number of hours for each eligible person.

C) Some of the considerations for eligibility are that the diagnosed person has medical and/or physical needs, a deficiency in significant self-help skills, and/or behavior problems requiring care beyond that expected of a regular sitter. Those requiring a higher level of medical care are referred back to the funding source for referral to an appropriate agency or professional.

D) Regional Centers provide funds to FCS for the provision of respite care to eligible persons. Families may be asked by their Regional Center Service Coordinator to contribute.

E) The Respite Care Provider should not arrive earlier than the scheduled beginning of a routine respite, nor stay later than the end of the respite.

Respite Program Goals

To provide quality respite care services, (24) hours a day, (7) days a week, that are responsive to individuals with special needs and their parents or guardians.

To provide services which offer parents an opportunity for self renewal without worry

To provide families with a viable alternative to out-of-home placement

To train and supervise qualified Respite Care Providers

To provide companionship and new positive experiences for the individual with special needs

To provide the individual with special needs an opportunity to develop to their maximum potential

Services Available

Respite Care Providers, who are 18 years of age or older and have certification in first aid and CPR, are trained to provide consistent support and activities to your family member with special needs. Respite Care Providers, under the direction and guidance of parents and professionals can provide the following services:

Personal care in the home (toileting or diapering, hygiene, feeding, bathing, dressing).

Assistance with instruction in self-help acquisition.

Follow-through with behavior management plans in the home.

Assistance with infant stimulation in the home.

Supervision and stimulation with appropriate toys and activities.

Note* The Respite Care Provider will only be paid for the time clocked in and out on the time sheet, which is agreed and signed by you and within the number of hours authorized by the Regional Center.

Exceeding Authorized Hours/Cancellation

A) The respite Program WILL NOT be responsible for payment of wages for services provided in excess of hours authorized by the Regional Center.

B) You are responsible for directly paying Respite Care Providers for any hours worked beyond the authorized hours.

C) You are responsible for keeping accurate records of respite service hours. FCS can provide you with a form to help you with record keeping. You can also call the office to check the balance of your authorized hours.

D) In instances when you arrange for respite directly with a Respite Care Provider both you and the Respite Care Provider will not be paid for hours worked without prior approval from the office.

E) You must call in cancellations for a scheduled respite at 24 hours before the actual visit.

1) Please keep in mind that if a respite is cancelled before the service is scheduled, (but, enough notice is given so as to avoid the Respite Care Provider arriving for the respite,) the scheduled Respite Care Provider WILL NOT be paid for any hours, nor will any hours be deducted from your authorized hours.

2) If you have specifically requested a preferred Respite Care Provider and habitually cancel Respites, especially long respites, you can be terminated from the program. These Respite hours once scheduled, prevent the Respite Care Provider from being assigned any other Respite Care jobs, thus if cancelled, she will not be paid for any hours, resulting in financial hardship on our providers and lack of potential Respites for other families in the program.

3) If the Respite Care Provider arrives for a cancelled respite due to insufficient notice of the cancellation, that Respite Care Provider shall be paid for half the scheduled respite, “but in no event for less than 2 hours NO MORE THAN 4 HOURS”, at their regular rate of pay, in compliance with California Labor Law. The hours for which the Respite Care Provider is paid will be deducted from your authorized hours.

Private Agreement

A) Any oral or written agreements between the Respite Care Provider and yourself are a private agreement. (For example, you agree to pay the Respite Care Provider for extra hours over and Respite Program and above the Regional Center allocation). In these matters, the agreement is independent of the Respite Program and is not the responsibility of FCS staff.

Receiving Respite

A) Once you have returned all completed forms, you can call the respite office to schedule your first respite. Please be specific in relating what type of special care your family will require. All of our families and clients have different types of special care needed and you need to be vocal about what those needs may be.

B) Plan to spend at least thirty minutes with any new Respite Care Provider prior to leaving. (This time should also be included in the hours recorded on the Respite Care Provider’s time sheet and is considered part of the hours authorized by the Regional Center).

C) You may want the Respite Care Provider to spend as long as two hours with you and your family in order to become acquainted. If you would like, you may schedule a Respite Care Provider specifically for a home visit. (This time should also be included in the hours recorded on the Respite Care Provider’s time sheet and is considered part of the hours authorized by the Regional Center).

D) Remember, establishing a relationship between your family and a Respite Care Provider will take time and more than one respite in your home.

E) Be specific in communicating your expectations and concerns to the Respite Care Provider.

F) Please contact the office if you have any comments or concerns related to a particular Respite Care Provider.

G) Periodically you will receive a Parent Information Report for each Respite Care Provider who has come to your home. Please take the time to complete and mail this form to our office. These reports serve as an evaluation for the Respite Care Provider and allow us to provide the highest quality of care.

Choosing Your Own Provider

If you would like to choose your own Parent Select Respite Care Provider (a friend, relative, or neighbor), please call the Respite Program Office. We will send you a packet of paperwork to be completed by you and the person you have chosen. Your Parent Select Respite Care Provider may not work until all of the paperwork and other requirements have been completed and returned to the office. Until then you may use FCS’ Respite Care Providers sent out from our office.

Multiple Day Service

A) It is recommended that a Respite Care Provider complete at least four (4) hours of respite care service with your family before an overnight or multiple day service is provided. This should include at least one, (two hour) stay during which you and Respite Care Provider are in the home together. (This time should also be included in the hours recorded on the Respite Care Provider’s time sheet and is considered part of the hours authorized by Kern Regional Center.

B) You and the Respite Care Provider must feel mutually comfortable about staying overnight before the arrangement can be confirmed.

Care Of Siblings

Though respite care is intended for the diagnosed person, respite can also be provided for siblings, or other dependent family members. This is provided on a case by case basis. This depends upon the availability of Respite Care Providers who are willing to care for more than one individual at a time. FCS suggests a rate of $2.00 per hour for the first sibling and an additional $1.00 for each additional sibling. If you cannot afford this amount, you may negotiate an alternative arrangement with the Respite Care Provider before the respite takes place. FCS will not get involved with this arrangement; however FCS expects all private agreements will be fairly agreed upon and if difficulties arise with payment of sibling compensation, the service will be terminated.

A Respite Care Provider can care for up to four individuals at one time. Of these, no more than three can be clients. We would then try and send out two providers for the jobs with multiple clients (when available). You must tell the Respite Care Provider of neighborhood friends whom the siblings are permitted to play with and provide their phone numbers. Parents must also state exactly what their children are allowed to do when playing away from home. Under no circumstances will the Respite Care Provider be responsible for any non-family member. Guests In The Home

A) Respite Care Providers may not have visitors in the home of the respite family while on duty.

B) Respite Care Providers may not bring their own children to an assigned respite.

C) Respite Care Providers shall not take care of persons other than the diagnosed person and siblings. Nor may they work two separate respite assignments at the same time.

D) From time to time, with your permission, A Respite Care Provider may be accompanied by a new Respite Care Provider for hours of on-the-job-training.


The transportation of respite clients and siblings by car is strictly prohibited. The diagnosed person may only leave the home in the company of the Respite Care Provider on foot or using public transportation (i.e. goes for a walk to the park, or takes a drive with the guardian being the driver). This should be discussed with all persons involved prior to the visit.


A) When you have prior knowledge of illness relating to the diagnosed person or siblings, you must inform the Respite Office at the time service is being requested.

B) If someone is ill, respite service will be provided only if the Respite Care Provider is willing to do so. In the case of highly contagious illness such as chicken pox, pinkeye, strep throat or fever the respite must be cancelled.

C) If the Respite Care Provider becomes ill, they shall not go to the respite appointment but shall notify the Respite Office at least 24 hours in advance, if possible, so that another Respite Care Provider may be scheduled.

D) If the Respite Care Provider becomes ill during the weekend or evening when a respite is scheduled, than that Respite Care Provider shall notify you directly as far in advance of the respite as possible and shall then notify the Office during the next office hours. Medication

A) Non-prescription (aspirin, cold remedies, etc.) and prescription medication may be administered by the Respite Care Provider only if there is a form, signed and dated by you, authorizing its administration. Please request a medication form when scheduling the respite.

B) The medication form must state the name of the person who is to receive medication, the name of the medication (i.e. mixed with juice, with food, at bedtime, etc.).

C) You must pre-measure the prescribed dosage into separate envelopes or containers with the client or siblings name and direction written on each packet.

D) All medication must be kept out of reach of anyone under the Provider’s care.


A) Our providers will do only light housekeeping, directly related to the care of the person(s) under their supervision. Respite Care Providers are not housekeepers nor do they perform heavy housekeeping duties (i.e., cleaning of walls, ovens, etc.).

B) Duties may include care of plants and pets as requested during multi-day service.

C) Only for a multi-day service will the Respite provider be required to wash the clothes of the client and siblings for whom respite is being provided and only when the clothes are needed.

D) The Respite Care Providers shall prepare and serve meals to the person with special needs and other in his/her care. After meals, the provider will clean the utensils and dishes used. He/she will leave the premises in the general conditioner in which it was found.


A) You may be denied service if your home is kept in such a manner that would threaten the health or welfare of the Provider and/or the client and siblings.

B) At all times the Respite Care Provider shall observe rules of cleanliness of his own person, as well as the person with special needs and others in his/her care.


You are expected to provide enough food and snacks for clients and siblings during your absence. Release Of Care

A) Providers must have prior written permission from the parent or guardian before any person in their care may be released to any other specified persons. (Please request a release of care for when you schedule the respite).

B) Under no circumstances shall the Respite Care Provider allow persons in their care to leave the home, unless accompanied by the provider.

Behavior Management

A) You shall advise the provider of methods used or controlled of negative behavior of the person with special needs. We reserve the right to question appropriateness of any behavior management tools used with our supervision.

B) In all cases, a positive approach using behavior management techniques shall be used to bring about the appropriate behavior. No physical punishment will be permitted.

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