Respite Information

  • In-Home Respite

    • A service to our families
    • An opportunity for our employees

    The Delaware Autism Program (DAP) operates a unique service of In-Home Respite, to provide additional support to families in our program. This service is summarized here, and described in detail in a separate document (In-Home Respite Guidelines) available from your local Facilitator, or from Jenn Brown, Assistant Principal for Extended Services

    What is In-Home Respite?

    According to research studies, caring for a client with autism is very stressful for the siblings and family of the individual affected. Respite provides families with a break from that care, by placing the client with autism in the temporary care of a qualified provider. Respite may last as little as an hour or two (e.g., so the family can attend a sibling's school play), or can last as long as a week (so the family can literally take a vacation from the care of the client).

    • Respite is a supplemental service provided by DAP, but is not related to the client's IEP.
    • Depending on their preferences, Respite can occur in the family's home or in the Respite Provider's home.
    • Respite cannot be used to replace regularly scheduled activities like before- or after-school care. 

    Who can receive Respite?

    Any family of a client with autism, enrolled in a district operating a state-approved affiliate of DAP - i.e., Christina, Brandywine, Caesar Rodney, Capital, Seaford, or Cape Henlopen School District - is eligible to receive respite. Parents must register with a Respite Facilitator (a designated staff member within the local DAP program who processes requests and paperwork), and complete forms describing the client's needs and preferences. Families are eligible for up to 19 days of respite per year (1 day or 24 hours per month and 7 days vacation per year). The respite year runs from September 1 to August 31.

    To be eligible to receive or provide respite:

    1. Contact the Respite Facilitator in the Client's program. The Facilitator will give you a Registration Form, Guidelines, and Provider OR Client Profile.
    • Providers: The Facilitator will also ask your school district and principal to verify your employment status.
    1. Complete and Return the Registration Form and Profile
    2. Clients are now registered!
    • Providers are registered once verification from the school district is received.

    How Respite is arranged:

    1. Parents submit a Respite Request Form to the Facilitator in writing or electronically, indicating when they seek respite and noting if they have a preferred provider
    • Submit the request 7 days in advance for respite of less than 24 hours, & 2 weeks in advance for respite of more than 24 hours.
    • The Facilitator contacts the preferred Provider. If unavailable, other Providers in the Client's program may be contacted
    1. Before Respite occurs, the Parents & Provider must each have the Client & Provider Profile, & must have each signed the Respite Authorization Form. The completed Authorization/Verification form must be with the Provider during the respite period.
    2. At the end of Respite, the Parent verifies that Respite was provided by signing the Authorization form, and paying the co-pay to the Provider. (Checks to DAP)
    3. The provider submits the co-pay, Authorization form and accompanying bubble sheet to the Facilitator within 5 days, and typically is paid within 4-6 weeks.

    Who can provide Respite?

    Any qualified staff member currently employed by a state-approved affiliate of DAP can be a Respite Provider, as long as they have completed essential training in autism provided by their program, have ongoing meaningful contact with students with autism, and have a satisfactory employment record. Providers wishing to do respite in their own homes must also provide information to the parent about the safeguards in place. Because Respite is considered an educationally-appropriate activity, providers are covered by existing school district policies in case of an accident.

    Who pays for Respite?

    Most of the cost of Respite is absorbed by DAP. Parents are responsible for a small co-pay, the amount of which depends on the family's income. Respite Providers are currently paid $15.22/hour.

    Contact Information

    To register for respite, contact the Facilitator for your school district. For more general information about In-Home Respite, please contact Jenn Brown, Assistant Principal for Extended Services (454-2202x205, )

    • Brandywine – Donna Mongelli (267) 738-9551,
    • Caesar Rodney – Tammy Brandner (302) 679-3103 x 9302,
    • Cape Henlopen – Daralyn Meluney, (302) 645-1983,
    • Capital School – Margaret Iplenski
    • Christina – Janine Weisman – 454-2202 x4,
    • Seaford – Michelle Perry - 454-2202 x4,