Family Respite Services supports during Covid-19 Emergency Response

The support for families through FRS is an essential service in our community. We are not closed and continue to be there for you. However, as recommended we have most of our staff working remotely and we have closed our main office to visitors during this emergency response. The best way for families and Direct Support Providers to contact Family Coordinators is through their email, but they will also be receiving their voice mail and returning calls. We want to be in contact with you. We ask that Direct Support Providers and families send in timesheets or invoices through email. Send them to

We know that this is a very stressful time for families and direct support providers. We continue to urge families to follow the guidelines provided by Public Health. Our request is that you refrain from having Direct Support Providers come into your home for three weeks if possible. The purpose of this is to minimize personal contact and risk of transmitting Covid-19 to families, children and direct support providers. Families may consider having a close family member support your child for a period of time.

We know that this is not possible for some families. For those families who continue to have someone coming into their home please check in with one another prior to have anyone in the home. On each visit, review whether anyone in the family, the direct support worker or people that live with either party have travelled, are in self-quarantine or are experiencing an symptoms that are associated with Covid-19. If any of these conditions are present then DO NOT go forward with the support. In addition, Direct Support Providers are urged to practice hand washing several times throughout the visit. If any family using in home support or Direct Support Providers who are actively working become affected by Covid-19 we need to know this information immediately.

We know that this will also create hardship for some Direct Support Providers. If you need information about emergency funds or Employment Insurance that are available through the federal government please reach out to us.

Throughout this period we want to urge everyone to stay connected with each other and with us, to believe that we will all get through this and taking these steps will help everyone in our community. We hope to see creative responses from families and Direct Support Providers about ways that you are maintaining connections and doing activities through on line and would love to share your stories! 

Informational web link regarding How to Self Monitor provided Public Health Ontario. and

Respite Services is affiliated with and This is an online tool that is available throughout Ontario in many communities. Families who have sons and daughters who have funding for respite services may use this tool. This funding might be through Special Services at Home (SSAH), Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD), Autism respite funding, Enhanced respite funding, resources through Family Respite Services or other similar kinds of funding.


This resource enables families and Direct Support Providers to use an online tool to be matched with one another. When a family registers on the website they provide a profile of their child and family needs without using their name. They can specify the kinds of skills needed, the time they require support, the age of their child and the approximate location they live in. Families can also view the profiles of people who are screened Direct Support Providers and ask for more identifying information so that they can meet the person and decide whether the person is a suitable caregiver for their child. A Family Coordinator at Family Respite contacts the family to ensure that we have all the information to enable a successful match. The family makes the decision about the selection of the person that will care for their son or daughter.

Direct Support Providers:

Families usually require that the person who provides services has experience and skills that prepare them to support their son or daughter. Approved Direct Support Providers can post a profile that outlines their qualifications, experience, availability and special skills. Direct Support Providers are identified by a profile number rather than by name. Families can request further information and schedule a time to meet. The Direct Support Provider can also view family profiles and ask to be linked with the family. Direct Support Providers are self-employed. and is a convenient way for families and Direct Support Providers to find a match that works for both parties. Family Respite Services plays an active role in assisting families and Direct Support Providers to use this tool.

For more information about this tool in Windsor/Essex contact Shannon:

519 972 9688 ext 136.

Recommended Link

Toggle collapsible region