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Committee Advances Tully & Swain Legislation Increasing Respite Care Services for Certain Families of Children with Disabilities

To provide relief to the caretakers of eligible children with disabilities, Assembly Democrats Christopher Tully and Lisa Swain sponsor a bill to increase the maximum number of hours families can receive respite care services each month.

Respite care is the provision of care or supervision of a child on a temporary, short-term basis to offer families a break from their caregiving responsibilities. Currently, an eligible family can receive these services from the State for a maximum of 20 hours per month.

Under the bill (A-5672), the maximum number of hours allowed for respite care services funded through the Department of Children and Families would be increased to 30 hours per month.

Upon the legislation being advanced by the Assembly Women and Children Committee on Wednesday, Assemblyman Democrats Tully and Swain (both D-Bergen, Passaic) issued the following joint statement:

“Caring for a child with a severe disability can be a challenging experience for parents dealing with their child’s increased physical, emotional and developmental needs. Without a break from their daily responsibilities, many parents become exhausted and worn down – which is bad for both them and their child.

“Respite care services are exactly what they sound like – a way to provide respite to weary families who simply need time to rest and relax before returning to their many responsibilities.

“These services are a lifeline for many families. Increasing the amount of hours they can receive these services each month will give families the break they need while providing peace of mind that their child will receive proper care in their absence.”

The bill heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.