FAQ's - Respite Care (Maryland)

The information below applies to the Children's Choice Respite Program currently operating in Maryland.

+ Who provides transportation?

Answer: Transportation is up to the birth parent but typically the resource parent is willing to meet somewhere in the middle.

+ Does respite cost a birth parent anything?

Answer: No because it is paid through medical assistance, 1915i or another agency (I.e. MD Choices, DSS). However if a birth parent knows that they have lost medical assistance and does not tell Children’s Choice, then the birth parent would be responsible for the cost.

+ What if the birth parent does not think the respite family is a good fit?

Answer: Then the child does not have to go back and Children’s Choice will place the child on the waitlist until a suitable home is found.

+ How long does the placement process take?

Answer: That depends on how fast Children’s Choice can find a family and how quickly a meeting can take place between the birth parent and the resource parent. Roughly the process takes 1 month.

+ What times do pick up and drop off’s have to be?

Answer: There is no set time but normally respite is Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. These times can be extended on either end. It just depends on the agreement between the birth and resource parent.

+ What if I can’t reach the resource parent (Or what if the resource parent can’t get a hold of the birth parent) and there is an emergency?

Answer: This would be a good use of the emergency cell phone that is carried by program staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

+ Have the resource families dealt with children like mine before?

Anser: Yes and no. Some families have been doing respite and/or foster care for a long time and they may be familiar with many different types of children. Other parents have never done respite or foster care before. However, every resource family goes through pre service training and has to complete monthly trainings in order to be a resource parent. Many different child mental health issues are discussed during these trainings. Also, respite is not a permanent thing. If a weekend of respite is tried and it does not work out, a new home for the child can be found.

+ What kinds of activities do respite resource parents do on the weekend?

Answer: There are no set activities that resource parents have to do while respite is taking place but it is encouraged that children do not sit and play video games all weekend. Activities surrounding the respite child’s particular interests are encouraged. I.e. Sports, Arts and Crafts, and Library visits etc.

+ Will the respite children have their own room?

Answer: Not necessarily. A respite child can share a room with another child of the same sex as long as the respite child has his own bed and it is not a bunk bed, trundle bed, or day bed and the other child sharing the room is close in age.

+ Does respite have to be on the weekend?

Answer: No. Respite can take place during the week especially during the summer. What days respite takes place is up to the needs of the birth parent and the schedule of the resource parent.

+ Can a child do in and out of home respite?

Answer: A child can do both in and out of home respite just not on the same day.

+ Can a birth parent get more than 12 nights every 3 months?

Answer: Yes but these extra nights have to be preauthorized and in general be paid for by an outside agency such as Choices or an individual county agency.

+ How many kids can go to respite at a time?

Answer: A resource parent can have up to two out-of-home respite children at a time as long as there are no other foster care children in the home. In home respite children do not count towards the total number of children in the home.

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