Private Organization Accreditation

As one of the largest family services agencies in the country, Child & Family Services has dedicated its resources to meet the needs of the community since 1873.


Nicole Deprez-Garrity, M.Ed.

Volunteer Roles: Endorser, Lead Endorser

Nicole Deprez-Garrity is a lead After School Endorser based in Germany.
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Child and Family Services promote child and family well-being, protect children’s safety, stablilize and strengthen families, and ensure permanency.

PA-CFS 31: Respite Care for Children in Out-of-Home Care

Respite care reduces caregiver stress, ensures child safety and well-being, and promotes the stability of placements.

Interpretation: This core concept addresses respite care provided in resource family homes licensed by the agency, as well as when the agency is working with licensed, contracted respite care providers for the children in care. Please note that resource families should have access to respite care even when it is not provided in the agency’s resource family homes, as referenced in PA-CFS 26.04. The provision of respite care for birth families receiving in-home services, and adoptive parents or guardians in need of post-finalization support, is addressed generally in PA-CFS 10.01 and 29.05, respectively. 

Note: If care is going to continue for an indefinite period of time, the notice and placement preferences in the Indian Child Welfare Act may apply.

NA The agency does not provide respite care in resource family homes licensed by the agency or another provider.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • A description of respite services, including number of children permitted in respite care homes
    • Procedures for:
      1. Reviewing respite options with resource families
      2. Matching children with respite caregivers, including criteria for matching
      3. Providing respite services in response to a crisis
      4. Ensuring health and safety
      5. Working with contracted respite care providers
    • Informational materials regarding the respite care program
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Agency leadership
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Respite caregivers
      4. Resource parents
    • Review case records
    • Review resource parent records

  • PA-CFS 31.01

    Respite care options are reviewed with resource parents prior to a child joining the family, and on a regular basis.

  • FP
    PA-CFS 31.02

    Children are matched with respite caregivers who can meet their needs, and: 

    1. are familiar with their daily routines, preferred foods and activities, and needed therapeutic or medical care; and 
    2. respect their culture, race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

    Interpretation: Children who require therapeutic or medical treatment should be matched with a caregiver that has appropriate skills and qualifications.

  • PA-CFS 31.03

    Respite caregivers offer enriching activities appropriate to the interests, age, development, physical abilities, interpersonal characteristics, culture, and special needs of children.

    Interpretation: When children are involved in regular therapeutic, educational, or employment activities, respite caregivers should work with resource parents to plan for continued participation.

  • FP
    PA-CFS 31.04

    When respite care is provided in response to a crisis, the agency provides needed developmentally, culturally, and age appropriate interventions to help children cope with trauma or stress associated with the crisis.

    NA The agency does not provide respite care in crisis situations.

  • FP
    PA-CFS 31.05

    Respite caregiver homes have no more than five total children, including no more than two children in treatment foster care.

    Interpretation: The total number of children includes all children under the age of 18 in the home, including both children residing in the home and children in respite care. There should be no more than two children total under the age of two, and no more than four children total over the age of 13. Exceptions to the total number of children approved to reside with the family are usually considered only to accommodate sibling groups, kinship care placements, or if the home is specially licensed by the state or tribe to care for more children. When overnight care is provided, accommodations must include sleeping arrangements appropriate to the number, age, special needs, and gender of the individuals in the home.

  • FP
    PA-CFS 31.06

    When children in respite care experience accidents, health problems, or changes in appearance or behavior, information is promptly recorded and reported to the resource parents and administration, and follow-up occurs, as needed.

  • FP
    PA-CFS 31.07

    Respite caregivers return children only to the resource parents, or another person approved by the resource parents, and follow guidelines for situations that pose a safety risk or when a child requires protection.

    Interpretation: Protocols should provide direction on how to use appropriate organizational or community resources to respond to individuals who are intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, who are mentally or physically unstable, or who present a safety concern.

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