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OMHSAS to Develop Child Respite Services
March 1, 2007

Governor Rendell’s FY 2007/08 budget proposal includes funding for respite services for approximately 2,000 children and their families. The current budget allocation for this service is $500,000. Funds would be administered by the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) through arrangements with county mental health and mental retardation programs. The plan is for funding to be allocated by a formula based on number of children served in the behavioral health program. Funds would be utilized to establish the infrastructure (training, certification, and management) and pay for respite services for families.

The OMHSAS Children’s Bureau will work with family, county, and provider representatives to develop guidelines for counties and a mechanism to monitor the development of respite services.

OMHSAS has asked PCPA to identify members currently providing in-home respite services and to collaborate with them and other stakeholders in developing service models, training, and related elements for this proposed service. Members may direct questions to Connell O’Brien at PCPA.

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