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Developmental Disability Family Support services are intended to help support uncompensated caregivers for individuals who are eligible for developmental disability services and living in their own homes. Under the direction of the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council, Regional Family Support Planning Councils assist the Children’s System of Care (CSOC) in the allocation of funding for these services by making recommendations based on input they receive from families.

CSOC evaluates requests for Family Support based on an individual’s need, the services and supports already available and/or being used, and the availability of CSOC resources. Family Support is not an entitlement and cannot be guaranteed.  Budget allocations dictate the availability of services.  Families must exhaust any other services to which they are entitled before they can receive assistance through Family Support.  

The following services generally are offered in throughout New Jersey.  Individual regions may have different options. More information related to Family Support may be found by referencing the Family Support Act of 1993.

Respite

Respite provides family caregivers with a short period of rest or relief by arranging alternate care-giving for the family member with a developmental disability. Respite also can be provided when the family caregiver is temporarily absent or disabled for any reason, such as for a short period of hospitalization. Respite usually is provided by an agency that contracts with CSOC to provide this service, such as a home health agency. 

Respite includes:

  • After-school activities
  • Weekend recreational activities
  • A short-term placement in a licensed setting
  • In-home respite
  • Self-directed respite

Camp

Some assistance with camps may be available through Family Support.

Before requesting funding for camp, a family should always ask the Department of Education for an extended school year for their child.

Applications for camp assistance can be found at the PerformCare website. Applications are accepted between March 15th and April 30th each year.

Assistive Technology Devices

These are used to increase, maintain or improve an individual’s functional capabilities. They include materials and services meant to improve quality of life by:

  • Making the environment more accessible
  • Allowing the individual to compete in the workplace(excluding items covered by vocational rehabilitation services)
  • Enhancing independence

Unless an Assistive Technology Device is available from only one vendor, families seeking them must obtain three competitive bids. In addition; 

  • The device must be prescribed by a physician or therapist
  • The individual must have received a denial from his or her insurance carrier, including Medicaid
  • Individuals may receive no more than $11,000 for Assistive Technology Devices over a three-year period 
Home and Vehicle Modifications

These are removable, structural modifications such as ramps, grab-bars, etc.

 

Individuals may receive no more than $11,000 for home and vehicle modifications over a three-year period.

 

They must be removable, such as ramps, grab-bars, etc., although an exception may be granted in cases where a modification affects an individual’s mobility, such as a roll-in shower or a garage conversion.