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Respite Care

Respite care or respite services can be defined as short-term or time-limited assistance provided for individuals with special needs to provide a short break or relief to the individual’s primary caregiver. Respite care is one of the most frequently requested family support services and has become a critical component of comprehensive service plans for individuals with special needs since the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1970s and 1980s, as residents began to increasingly live in their home communities.

Individuals who are the direct recipients of respite care are the primary caregivers, as they receive a break from caregiving responsibilities while the respite care provider spends time with the family member with special needs. The other direct recipients of respite care are children, youth, or adults with ...

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