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Policy change enhances respite services for persons with disabilities and their families

For release 15-378
Dec 03, 2015

WHITEHORSE—Premier Darrell Pasloski today announced that the Department of Health and Social Services will expand the options for parents accessing in-home respite. This will allow household residents, other than parents, to be paid as respite caregivers.

“We strongly believe that this change will increase options and access for family members to respite care, including overnight care,” Pasloski said. “It will help meet the needs of parents with children and adults with more severe medical conditions or behavioural needs who have a greater need for respite.”

Currently, both Family Supports for Children with Disabilities and Services to Adults with Disabilities provide funding to families for respite care as a means to provide temporary short-term relief to caregivers looking after a relative. Parents were able to select and pay their own caregivers, but other household residents including family members were not eligible to be paid.

“We are grateful to the Disability Programs Advisory Committee for raising the respite issue with us,” added Pasloski.

The Department of Health and Social Services is also working with foster parents on changes to the respite policy for the foster care program.

The new policy will take effect February 1, 2016.

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