June 4, 2018
The DHS (Department of Human Services) Respite Grant program has been an invaluable resource for our families for over 20 years and we are proud to have been the program’s grantee, enabling us to provide a respite subsidy for thousands of families.
We regret to inform you that the Department of Human Services Respite Grant Program for The Arc Baltimore will cease to be funded as of July 31, 2018. Reportedly the funds will be distributed to the local jurisdictions of the Department of Social Services; however, we are not yet aware of any points of contact or the methods through which families may access funds. Once we receive additional information we will share it. In the meantime we encourage you to reach out to the Department of Human Services, the Developmental Disabilities Administration and your local Department of Social Services to assert the need for the department to avoid any gaps in accessibility and ensure the timely transition and oversight of this essential funding. We encourage you to share your stories, struggles and needs – especially about the value of being able to quickly access flexible funds. There is nothing more compelling than sharing your own personal stories in conveying the complexity of navigating and accessing resources for families of special needs individuals.
As mentioned, we will have funds from the respite grant in the month of July 2018 ONLY. You may begin requesting respite funding for the month of July beginning 8:30 AM on June 15, 2018. We will NOT approve requests received before June 15, 2018. Please keep in mind that reservations are on a “first come, first serve basis.” Please do not be alarmed if you must leave a voicemail. The time/date of calls and emails will be recorded and returned in the order of first received. We understand the anxiety that this may cause our families. All requests will receive a confirmation of approval or denial. Numerous calls or messages are not necessary. Funding for respite is NOT guaranteed and is very limited. Respite can ONLY be utilized during the month of July 2018. Timesheets must still be received on or before August 5, 2018. We will be unable to reimburse any late timesheets received.
As a reminder, if your family member or the person with disabilities you are inquiring for is currently receiving or is eligible for services through any waivered program (DDA, Autism, Community First Choice, etc.), you are not eligible for the DHS Respite Grant. Please contact your service coordinator for further assistance. If you experience a true respite crisis such as hospitalization or bereavement, you may be eligible for the DHS Emergency Grant through the Elizabeth Cooney Agency. You may contact them directly at (410) 323-1700 for eligibility requirements and information.
For more information regarding accessing respite funding after July 31, 2018 please contact the Department of Human Services. We have included a listing of contact numbers and resources for your convenience. Thank you for being part of The Arc Baltimore family and entrusting us with the needs of your family. Please continue to visit our website for information regarding Parent’s Day Out, Support Groups, Education Series, etc.
Family Supports Coordinator