Outline of Direct Support/Respite Providers Role

Direct Support/Respite Providers

  • Working with the child in the family’s home and in the community, so that parents receive a break/rest, while you engage in meaningful activities with the child.
  • Part-time paid opportunity ranging from 4 – 6 hrs/week, approximately $12-15/hr.
  • Support is generally done in the family’s home or in the community 
  • Direct support/ respite providers are self employed when they provide short breaks/respite care.
  • The Direct Support/respite provider and parent will negotiate how payment is implemented for respite situations. 
  • Some families receive Special Services at Home funding and ask Family Respite Services to administer their funding. FRS then employs a part time direct support provider on a contract basis to provide this service.   A family coordinator will discuss this with you at the appropriate time.​

Providing Support to Families

Family Respite Services (FRS) supports over 900 families caring for children (0-18) with disabilities in Windsor and Essex County. Respite Providers work with a child but it is based on education, experience, interests, availability and location of where you live. The family makes the decision about whether the respite provider is suited to their family and child. FRS supports children with Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, Physical Disabilities, Medical Health Challenges, and Mental Health Challenges. Parents expect that the respite provider will go to the families home a few hours a day and a couple of times a week. Eg. Tues/Thurs 4 p.m. -6 p.m. and/or Saturdays etc. hours are typically after school, evenings and weekends, as most children are in school during the day. Families may be flexible with schedules; however we recommend individuals provide a structured routine time for the child and family. A one year/long term commitment is expected. The family decides on the rate of pay; however most families pay $12/hr. depending on the funding available.  Transportation to the family’s home is mandatory. Some families require that the respite provider drives with the child to community outings. Most families request that you have your own vehicle. If you don’t have a vehicle it may be difficult to find you a match.

Developing Relationships with Children with Disabilities

  • Enriching the quality of life for families, while the child participates in our community
  • Offers a respite provider a family orientated environment to build and keep long lasting memories!
  • Working with children through FRS is very rewarding for the child, family and respite provider

Tasks Include

  • Academics-tutoring, puzzles, library, reading, math, telling time, counting, shapes etc.                              
  • Socialization- communication, social skills
  • Developmental Skills/Daily Life Skills
  • Recreational Activities- Park, community centers, sports, exercise, register for a particular activity
  • Making connections in the community by volunteering and getting involved

Building on Skills and Experience  

  • Ability/Experience to respond to children with varying needs Eg) Children with Autism, Children with Behavioural Challenges, Children with Medical Health Challenges and children with Physical disabilities; personal care. FRS looks at what you are comfortable doing when supporting a child and the past experiences you may have. Families and FRS provide training as well. Students enrolled in related programs can gain a lot of experience from supporting a child; you can apply the theory learned in the classroom setting in a practical manner. This is a flexible part time job for graduates as well, even if you are already working full time else where. This is a chance for professionals to continue/reconnect with frontline service. 

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