Family Support services are intended to help support uncompensated caregivers for individuals who are eligible for Division-funded services and living in their own homes. Under the direction of the New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council, Regional Family Support Planning Councils assist the Division in the allocation of funding for these services by making recommendations based on input from families.
• Family Support requests are evaluated based on an individual’s need, the services and supports already available and/or being used, and the availability of Division resources.
• Family Support is not an entitlement and cannot be guaranteed.
• Budget allocations dictate the availability of services.
• Families are expected to exhaust any other services to which they are entitled before receiving assistance through Family Support.
The following services generally are offered in all regions of the state, though individual regions may have different options. More information related to Family Support may be found by referencing the Family Support Act of 1993.
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 is typically provided by an agency that contracts with the Division to provide this service, such as a home health agency.
Out-of-Home Respite includes:
• After-school activities for children and after-program activities for adults
• Weekend recreational activities
• A short-term placement in a licensed setting
Summer Camp Funding Assistance
Some funding assistance may be available through Family Support for individuals who attend summer camp. The type and amount varies by region across the state.
Before requesting funding for camp, a family should always ask the Department of Education for an extended school year for their child.
The 2015 deadline for applying for camp funding assistance is Monday, May 4, 2015.
For additional information and instructions on how to apply for camp funding assistance, please view the Division's 2015 Camp Funding Assistance Fact Sheet.
Assistive Technology Devices
Assistive Technology Devices are used to increase, maintain or improve an individual’s functional capabilities. They include materials and services meant to improve quality of life by:
• Assisting with learning
• 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 & Vehicle ModificationsHome and Vehicle Modifications
Home and Vehicle Modifications 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
• Modifications 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