What is Respite?

Relief for parent(s) from constant care of their child.

What is San Andreas Regional Center (SARC)?

San Andreas Regional Center is a community-based, private nonprofit corporation that is funded by the State of California to serve people with developmental disabilities as required by the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act. The Lanterman Act is part of California law that sets out the rights and responsibilities of persons with developmental disabilities.

Who is eligible for SARC?

Eligibility: To be considered eligible, a disability must have originated before the age of 18, be likely to continue indefinitely, and constitute a substantial hándicap in 3 or more major life areas.

Eligible Conditions:

  • Intellectual Disability: Significant deficits in general intellectual functioning (generally an IQ of 70 or below) and significant deficits in adaptive functioning.

  • Cerebral Palsy: A neurological condition occurring from birth or early infancy resulting in an inability to voluntarily control muscular activity, and resulting in significant deficits in motor and adaptive functioning and/or cognitive abilities.

  • Epilepsy: A disorder of the central nervous system in which the major symptoms are seizures. Eligibility is based on a seizure disorder that is uncontrolled or poorly controlled, despite medical compliance and medical intervention.

  • Autism: A syndrome characterized by impairments in social interaction (withdrawal, failure to engage in interaction with peers or adults), impaired nonverbal communication skills, and the inability to develop and maintain relationships. Individuals may engage in repetitive behaviors or a limited repertoire of activities.

  • Fifth Condition: This category includes disabling conditions found to be closely related to intellectual disability or requiring treatment similar to that required for individuals with intellectual disability.

How to apply for services?

Go to SARC.org

Who is eligible for in-home respite services?

Families are eligible for in-home respite if they live with their family member who is a client of SARC and in-home respite is identified as a service on the family members’ IPP. Authorizations for respite must be approved by SARC on an individual (client/family need) basis. Contact your SARC service coordinator to confirm eligibility or request the service be added to your child’s IPP. Request that Stable Life be the agency that your service coordinator write your Purchase of Service (POS) for in-home respite. You are ready to use your respite as soon as you receive your POS.

How do I use respite?

Upon receiving authorization from SARC for respite, you can:

  • Designate your own respite worker (this can be the consumers’ grandparent, adult sibling, aunt/uncle, friend, neighbor - - - anyone you trust and is capable of caring for your child/adult with special needs). The Regional Center does not pay the consumers’ parent for care.

  • Call SLS and request a respite worker contact you.

How do I designate a respite worker?

Designated respite workers are hired by the parents/guardian, but are paid through Stable Life as a third party payer, insuring standard payroll procedures are followed, insurance is obtained, and that program compliance is adhered to. The family and their worker(s) make all service arrangements. If there is someone you would like to designate as your respite provider (sibling, friend, relative, neighbor) contact Stable Life to obtain the necessary sign-up forms. Designated respite workers must be at least 18 years old, pass a background check, CPR/First Aid certified, have special needs related experience/training and TB Clearance. Stable Life will reimburse above related costs after 3 months of paychecks through us. Respite workers must meet certain requirements as outlined in California Code of Regulation Title 17 (see “Title 17 Regulations” within this FAQ tab).

More info on self-designated respite worker…

In the self-designated respite worker model, you will receive services through a respite agency, but you will recruit and select your own respite worker (or workers), who are then hired by the agency to provide respite services only to your family. The agency pays your respite worker for authorized hours which have been scheduled and arranged between you and your worker. The agency also takes care of all employer responsibilities, such as required paperwork, payroll taxes, worker’s compensation, liability insurance, etc.

Title 17 Regulations overview.

Respite is a vendored service through state regional centers and is overseen by the Department of Developmental Services, under CCR Title 17, Sections 56780 – 56802.

Service Definition:

In-home respite services means the intermittent or regularly scheduled temporary non-medical care and supervision provided in the client’s own home, for a regional center client who resides with a family member. These services are designed to do all of the following:

  • Assist family members in maintaining the client at home.

  • Provide appropriate care and supervision to ensure the client’s safety in the absence of family members.

  • Relieve family members from the constantly demanding responsibility of caring for the client.

  • Attend to the client’s basic self-help needs and other activities of daily living including interaction, socialization, and continuation of usual daily routines which would ordinarily be performed by the family members.

How is respite provided?

The regional center contracts with respite agencies whose trained employees come to your home at scheduled times to help look after your disabled son or daughter. Respite workers understand disabilities. They are trained in a comprehensive program approved by the regional center. In this training program, they learn about developmental disabilities and how to care for people with disabilities. They also are taught CPR and First Aid. If you prefer to recruit your own designated respite worker please see “How do I designate a respite worker?”.

Do I have to call Stable Life to schedule a respite worker?

Not necessarily. If you have a self-designated respite worker you arrange everything between the two of you including keeping track of the hours used. Please remember that SLS cannot pay for time exceeding the hours authorized. Contact Stable Life if you need further assistance.

Who tracks hour usage?

Stable Life maintains usage records based on time cards, as they are received from respite workers. You should also keep track of the dates and number of hours used each month.

How can I check on my hours? 

You can call, email or text Stable Life to find out how many hours have been used and/or a current balance. Remember, Stable Life cannot pay for time exceeding the hours authorized.


Each respite worker maintains a time card to log all dates and times of service for a family. Times are verified by the parent/guardian and the time card is emailed by the family to Stable Life. Time cards are due by the last day of the month. Payday is by auto deposit into the respite worker’s checking account by the 5th of the following month. Late time cards will be processed the following month. Blank time cards can be found on our website under the tab for employees.

What is Respite?

Respite Care – Keeping Families Together

Respite care provides a break for caregivers and families. It is a service in which temporary care is provided to children or adults with disabilities. Respite care can occur for any length of time, depending on the needs of the family and available resources. Finding someone qualified to care for your loved one can be overwhelming. The care of a family member with multiple and severe physical disabilities is a 24-hour-a-day commitment. Most often respite care takes place in the families own home where professional care- givers provide an opportunity for parents to have some time to themselves to shop, to visit the dentist or doctor, or to spend time with other children or a spouse. In addition to providing direct relief, respite has added benefits for families, including:

Relaxation. Respite gives families peace of mind, helps them relax, and renews their humor and their energy;

Enjoyment. Respite allows families to enjoy favorite pastimes and pursue new activities;

Stability. Respite improves the family’s ability to cope with daily responsibilities and maintain stability during crisis;

Preservation. Respite helps preserve the family unit and lessens the pressures that might lead to institutionalization, divorce, neglect, and child abuse;

Involvement. Respite allows families to become involved in community activities and to feel less isolated;

Time Off. Respite allows families to spend time together and alone; and

Enrichment. Respite makes it possible for family members to establish individual identities and enrich their own growth and development.

Can other Regional Center clients use Stable Life?

Yes! All service providers are approved by their local regional center and then by the state DDS (Department of Developmental Services).

Who do I contact if have other questions?

For other questions about respite please call or email Stable Life Services. Phone messages and emails can be left 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and are usually returned within one business day.