FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The Exceptional Family Member Program at Fort Sam Houston Army Community Service offers programs for active duty Soldiers who have Family members with special needs and the Respite Care Program goes a step further offering Families an opportunity to take a break from the rigors of care giving.

The program, in effect since July 2007 under the Army Family Covenant, offers Families a qualified provider who is knowledgeable about Family members' needs through a contract with AlignStaffing.

According to their Web site, AlignStaffing incorporates RAPPORT™, a process that matches the best candidates for the needed positions. The organization also requires criminal and background checks be completed by respite care givers.

Respite care may be used by Families for participation in camps or outside programs that promote the care of the Family member. Families who only have one parent at home also benefit from this program, especially with the many deployments military Families and Soldiers are experiencing.

New guidelines for respite care went into effect Aug. 1. Respite care eligibility is based on the medical or educational condition of the Family member requiring care. When qualified, Families may be eligible for a minimum of 12 hours or a maximum of 40 hours a month of respite care for each eligible Family member.

A Family Services Need Matrix will be used to determine allowable respite care hours as part of the new guidelines. Families will need to complete an Individual Family Respite Care Plan, Family Needs Assessment, DA Form 4700, and/or DA Form 2792-1. There are also additional requirements if a Family would like to use their own provider to care for their children.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16