Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Respite Care (PA-RC) 6: Care and Supervision

Care recipients receive individualized care and supervision that promote their safety and well-being.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: RESPITE CARE (PA-RC)



Respite Care reduces caregiver stress, promotes the well-being and safety of care recipients, and contributes to stable families.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for matching care recipients with respite care providers
  • Health and safety procedures
  • Client/staff ratio
  • Most recent safety/risk data, if available
  • Monthly client/staff ratios and coverage schedules for the previous six months, as applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records
  • Review coverage schedules at each unit or group

Fundamental Practice

PA-RC 6.01

Families are matched with respite care providers that can meet their needs or receive information to enable them to select a suitable respite provider.


Care recipients that require therapeutic or medical treatment should be matched with a provider that has appropriate skills and qualifications.

Fundamental Practice

PA-RC 6.02

Respite care providers:
  1. are familiar with the care recipient’s daily routine, preferred foods and activities, and needed therapeutic or medical care; 
  2. respect the culture, race, ethnicity, language, religion, and sexual orientation of the care recipient; and
  3. offer activities with content appropriate to the interests, age, development, physical abilities, interpersonal characteristics, and special needs of the care recipient.


When the care recipient is involved in regular therapeutic, educational, or employment activities, the respite provider should work with caregivers to plan for continued participation.

Fundamental Practice

PA-RC 6.03

Crisis respite care provides needed developmentally and age appropriate interventions to help the care recipient cope with trauma or stress associated with the crisis.
NA The agency does not provide crisis respite care.

Fundamental Practice

PA-RC 6.04

The program provides close supervision of care recipients to ensure safety and service quality, and provider-care recipient ratios do not exceed:
  1. one to four when children are under school age;
  2. one to eight during waking hours; and
  3. one to twelve during sleeping hours.


Ratios should be adjusted to meet the special needs of individuals that require therapeutic or medical care, or close monitoring, and include all other children or adults being cared for in the home or facility. Ratios should demonstrate capacity for safe evacuation of care recipients in case of an emergency.

Fundamental Practice

PA-RC 6.05

When care recipients experience accidents, health problems, or changes in appearance or behavior, information is promptly recorded and reported to caregivers and administration, and follow-up occurs, as needed.

Fundamental Practice

PA-RC 6.06

Respite care providers return care recipients only to the caregiver, or another person approved by the caregiver.

Fundamental Practice

PA-RC 6.07

Procedures indicate how to respond by using appropriate agency or community resources when a caregiver poses a safety risk or an individual requires protection.
Examples: Situations can include for example when individuals are intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, mentally or physically unstable, or who present a safety concern.