Autism Respite Program
The Autism Respite Program is a service that provides away time for family caregivers of individuals of any age diagnosed with autism or a diagnosis under the Autism Spectrum Disorder, with the assurance that a qualified person is caring for the individual.
The project is a collaboration of Ohio Valley Residential Services (OVRS), the Kelly O’Leary Center, and Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services.
Who is eligible for respite services?
- Services are available to families of individuals who are eligible for services through the Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services, and have a diagnosis of autism or on the Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Eligible individuals cannot be receiving Supported Living, Individual Options or Level One waiver services and also use this program.
What services are available?
- Up to 8 hours per month of respite service are available from the list of qualified direct support staff.
How are staff qualified?
- OVRS and HCDDS have selected direct service staff that already provide services within their agencies. The staff are trained, have gone through background checks, existing agency orientation in rights, MUI and other areas. They are experienced in providing direct care.
- Staff have also received 5 hours of training in autism spectrum disorders at the Kelly O’Leary Center.
- Families can provide training to the selected caregiver on the specific needs of the individual receiving the service.
- Families may also select another family member to provide the respite services. However, all providers (including other family members) must receive training offered by the Kelly O’Leary Center. To inquire about upcoming training opportunities please contact Jamie Fellers at 513.636.1377.
How much does it cost?
- The service is free.
- A family member signs a voucher for the caregiver who submits it for payment. Payment for caregivers is provided by a special pool of funds.
Can the caregiver also serve other children in the family?
- No, a family must find other ways to care for other children in the family.
How does a parent get respite services?
- Make sure your child is eligible for services offered by Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services by calling the Intake Department at 794-3300.
- Print the enrollment form, parent or guardian signature form, payment voucher and the Individual Profile form. You also may call the Intake Department at HCDSS at 794-3300 and request information and the forms. These forms are also listed at the bottom of this page.
- Complete the Enrollment Form and Parent/Guardian Signature Form and fax them to 559-6602 or mail them to the HCDDS Intake Department at 1520 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio 45206.
- After confirming eligibility, parents are responsible for selecting and interviewing a caregiver from the list at the bottom of this page or identifying another family member and arranging training prior to the service.
- Make sure to check the website prior to scheduling any caregiver to ensure that the caregiver continues to be an approved contractor and whose costs can be reimbursed through the project.
- Print and complete the “Individual Profile” form and share with the caregiver to ensure he/she has adequate details to provide the support needed. A parent may use a similar format if already available and in use.
- Print a copy of the voucher, which lists the hours worked along with the signatures of the family and caregiver at the time of service. The caregiver will then mail the voucher for payment to Missy McCarthy, Hamilton County DD Services, 1520 Madison Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45206.
Eligible Respite Employees
- Dawn Smith, (513) 497-7669
- Tannezha Cotton, (513) 557-9840
- Carol Barker, (513) 289-8532
- Marshea Harper, (513) 834-0605
- Cathy Hill, (513) 501-4073
- Angel Roper, (513) 535-6558
- Angela Smith, (513) 910-1911
- Mical Ghebre-Ab, (513) 237-1354
- Desiree Sockrider, (513) 591-8060
- Latisha Robinson, (513) 307-3278
- Chad Sittloh, HCDDS, (513) 559-6728
- Dawn Freudenberg, HCDDS, (513) 559-6814
- Jamie Fellers, CCHMC Kelly O’Leary Center, (513) 636-1377
- HCDDS Intake, (513) 794-3300
- Missy McCarthy, SWOCOG, (513) 559-6889