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Respite Services Go Bag

What You Need When You Need a Break

Respite services provide planned or emergency care for any person with an intellectual and developmental disabilities as a temporary relief for their unpaid caregiver.

Why is respite important?
Many families care for their loved one with intellectual and developmental disabilities at home.  At times the physical and emotional demand can be overwhelming. Respite provides a much needed break for unpaid caregivers and allows them to recharge their batteries and maintain their own health and well-being.

How to Access Respite:

Under 21:
Respite services are part of Family Support Services provided by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) NJ Children’s System of Care. PerformCare is the contracted provider for respite services. Parents of children who are eligible for developmental disability services through PerformCare can apply for respite.

To learn more about Family Support Services call PerformCare at 1-877-652.7624 or visit PerformCare's Family Support website.

Over 21:
Respite services are considered a Family Support Service and are available through the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) for unpaid caregivers such as family members and guardians.

To learn more about Family Support Services, your eligibility and to discuss the availability of respite services, contact your Case Manager or Support Coordinator.


Types of Respite Available in New Jersey

Under 21 years of age—PerformCare

  • Agency After School Care is provided by community-based agencies. Each program has individual criteria including specific age and supervision needs. After school care is provided at an agency’s site and not in the child’s home. It provides social and recreational experiences rather than educational programming.
  • Agency Hired Respite is a service provided to families who want a respite worker who is recruited, trained and employed by a state qualified agency (such as a local county chapter of The Arc) to provide social and recreational experiences to children in or out of their homes.
  • Agency Weekend Recreation provides social and recreational experiences for children outside of their homes, sometimes including a community outing component, Friday evening through Sunday. It is the caregiver’s responsibility to provide transportation.
  • Overnight Respite allows your child to stay overnight in a safe, short-term alternate living arrangement. Each youth may attend up to 6 days in a rolling 365-day period, based on availability. Services must be provided in a licensed facility with round-the clock supervision and care.
  • Self-Hired Respite is a service provided to families who want to recruit their respite worker of choice. The family pays the worker directly and sends paperwork to a state qualified provider agency on a monthly basis for reimbursement.
  • Summer Camp Day or Overnight Respite provide in a respite at camp setting typically during the summer months. There is a separate application that must be filled out to request these services.
  • Crisis Respite may be available overnight or on a short-term basis while a primary caregiver is unavailable (e.g. recovering from surgery). Call PerformCare for more information 24 hours, 7 days a week at 877-652-7624 for more information.

For more information, review PerformCare’s Family Support Services FAQ. Or contact PerformCare 24 hours, 7 days a week at 877-652-7624.

Over 21 years of age - Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)

  • Camp Overnight Respite provides respite in a camp setting typically during the summer months.
  • Hotel Respite is typically held from Friday evening though Sunday evening. Hotel Respite cannot exceed two consecutive weeks and 30 days per year.
  • Out-of-home Day Respite includes program activities for adults; weekend recreational activities; a short-term placement in a DDD licensed setting.
  • Out of Home Overnight Respite is provided within Community Residence (a setting licensed under 10:44A) or within a hotel.
  • Self-Directed Employee (SDE) Respite provides in or out of the home by someone who has been hired by the individual.
  • Crisis Respite may be available overnight or on a short-term basis while a primary caregiver is unavailable (e.g. recovering from surgery). Contact your support coordinator or case manager for more information.

For more information, review DDD’s Supports Program Policies & Procedures Manual. Or contact your support coordinator or case manager.


Statewide Respite Care Program
This program provides respite care services for elderly and functionally impaired persons age 18 and older to relieve their unpaid caregivers of stress arising from the responsibility of providing daily care. 

For more information, visit the Statewide Respite Care Program's website.


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