Debunking Respite Care Myths – A look into UCP-OC’s Respite Care Program

Did you know that UCP-OC can be your respite care provider?
As a RCOC recognized professional respite agency, UCP-OC currently provides respite care for 330 throughout Orange County. Our 107 respite caregivers have an annual accumulation of 46,273 hours!

What is Respite?
According to the Regional Center OC, the state of California will provide respite care to provide caregivers the occasional relief they need. Respite care is many times provided by a vendor agency (UCP-OC) to give the family a worker with special training that equips them to deal with children or adults with challenging behaviors.

Do you go on date nights? Many times date nights for parents with special needs children seem out of reach. Respite can save marriages by giving parents an opportunity to re-connect on a date night as well as providing childcare support or even time to go grocery shopping! It provides relief by pairing a trained, adult caregiver with their child.  With their UCP-OC caregiver, children are able to pursue activities outside the home in addition to having a safer and more enriched experience when their parent is away.

3 Common Myths and Misconceptions:

Myth: Respite is only provided in the home setting
Truth: We are able to transport into the community, take to therapy, attend recreational classes, pick up and take to school (exceptional cases)

Myth: Respite is only if you need it.
Truth: Respite should be used regardless of need, and should be used because a parent/caregiver wants a break from care giving of someone with special needs. Regional Center should offer every consumer; the number of hours/ share of cost is individualized (Medicaid waiver is an option and should be discussed with families.

Myth: Respite is just for general relief.
Truth: There are a variety of ways Regional Center can issue a respite contract. For example but not limited to:

  •  Respite: General relief (hours based on need)
  • Respite as Daycare, Support Services, in lieu of childcare: This is generally used for working parents whose child is not enrolled in a daycare program, regardless of the time (based on proof of daycare need)
  • Respite as Exception: This is used to issue families, generally a 1 time, addition of hours to cover a particular need.  Medical procedure, no school, parents are out of town, etc.

What to expect with your UCP-OC Respite Worker:
All respite workers go through ongoing trainings and certifications for the following: CPR & First Aid (to be renewed every 2-3 years), seizure awareness, child abuse/neglect recognition and reporting, HIPAA, Blood borne pathogens, communication skills, cycle of grief, sign language, use of assistive technology, toileting and transfers, behaviors and positive reinforcements along with the ABC’s of behaviors—along with much more. UCP-OC continues to add to its trainings as opportunities present themselves and as the need arises.

UCP-OC is a professional respite agency; and although we do not provide behavioral respite or work on behavioral goals, we are many times viewed as behavioral respite due to the strengths and skill sets of our team. Our employees ensure behavioral goals and respite are fused into the service we offer. Our staff work on ADLS (All Daily Living Skills), provide sibling support (allows parents to reconnect), offer basic help with homework, provide light meals, encouraging speech, encourage age-appropriate behavior, increased functional skills, decrease mal-adaptive behaviors, and increase and encourage socialization.

Fun Facts

When we get down to it, we all like to hear new fun facts about people and places we are invested in. Especially when they are great conversation starters! This week we wanted to share with you our top 10 fun facts about United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County!

 

Fun UCP-OC Facts:

  1. Did you know UCP-OC started in 1953 serving 7 children with cerebral palsy?

    Early Intervention Specialist Ana Reyes in the Let’s Grow class on Monday mornings.
  2. UCP-OC provides access to resources all in one place! We offer the most comprehensive suite of services for children with disabilities anywhere in the Orange County community.
  3. The 5 most prevalent disabilities we serve, in no specific order, are cerebral palsy, developmental delay, autism, Down syndrome and speech disorders.
  4. Our iPads are used in therapy 40-48 hours a week, equivalent to a full-time therapist’s aid.
  5. We have 14 therapists on staff with a combined 160.5 years of experience. Four of our therapists have advanced practice certifications in addition to their credentials.
  6. More than 300 families receive respite care through UCP-OC each year. Respite provides a much-needed break for caregivers, transportation of special needs clients within the community, or assisting with other special care needs. Last month, families received over 6,600 hours of respite and childcare.
  7. Early Intervention Specialist Ana Reyes has been with UCP-OC for 25 years and has directly impacted over 2,500 families.
  8. UCP-OC’s Pediatric Medical Board consists of 15 of the county’s finest and most innovative doctors.
  9. In 2013, 464 new donors learned about UCP-OC and made an impact on the children we serve.
  10. UCP-OC’s Friday Night Club for Teens and Young Adults with Special Needs founder Natalie Cernius will receive the 2013 National Philanthropy Day Youth Award.

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