The 2011 National Lifespan
Setting the Stage
Respite services in Ontario.
Many families who have children and adults with
disabilities have individualized funding known as
Special Services at Home or Passport. They develop
their own flexible respite supports with these funds.
Respite agencies assist them to recruit people to
provide the support.
There is also special funding to provide respite
support for children with autism, complex medical
needs and mental health challenges.
There are also many agencies across Ontario that coordinate
respite supports to families.
These supports include:
Center based respite (often weekend/over night)
In home respite (a few hours per week)
Out of home respite (associate/host family model)
Community based (e.g. supports in community recreation
Support also includes:
assistance with recruitment,
screening and training of respite providers,
administration of funds and
coordination with other kinds of services that the family
may be receiving.
Parents can arrange their own flexible support with the
funding that they receive
Parents can utilize services of agencies in arranging
There are 9 regions within the province of Ontario and
each has designated funding for respite care for children.
Demand for service often exceeds the funding that is
Communities of Practice
An “Ideal Model” was created for Respite/Short
Break Care in some areas of Ontario that outlined
the blueprint for respite services.
The vision is to provide flexible, responsive, planned
respite support for families.
As this model was developed, two key components
Best and Promising of Practice
developing communities of practice so that agencies
could share best and promising practices with one
developing training supports for respite providers so
that families could have the kind of support that
How the Training Partnership Evolved
The South Western Region holds Communities of Practice
meetings to determine common issues, needs and ways to
share resources and share best/promising practices.
Training was identified as a priority for the respite
providers. While “in person” training continues, it was the
goal of the group to develop on line training so that there
would be a consistent message, ease of access and a well
developed training package.
Meanwhile the government had approached Safeguards
Training to see if it would produce classroom style respite
The Training Partnership
Family Respite Services Windsor Essex
Safeguards Training for Children and Adult Services
Funding from the Ontario Ministry of Children and
Family Respite Services
Family Respite Services is an community agency
that provides support to families who have children
(0-18) with disabilities, including developmental,
physical, and mental health challenges.
Services are flexible. There is a range of services
including in home, center based and community
FRS supports approximately 900 children in a
Windsor is located across the river from Detroit
FRS has about 400 active respite providers.
The agency screens more than 100 respite providers
FRS was anxious to develop a training course that
would assist in the screening process, would
communicate key values and would provide a
consistent training process.
For Children and Adult Services
Safeguards is a non profit, training partnership of
5 provincial associations serving over 350 agencies and
Association of Native Child and Family Services
Agencies of Ontario
Children’s Mental Health Ontario
Community Living Ontario
Ontario Association of Residences Treating Youth
The service sectors involved include:
Children’s mental health
Native Child and Family Services/Child Welfare
Foster care, Treatment group homes
Young Offenders - Open Custody
Young Parent Resource Centres
To enhance the capacity of services
through evidence-informed training
for staff serving children, youth,
families and adults.
Types of Training
Customized and In-service Training
Online Resource Portal
(Virtual Library of journals, data, books)
Considerations in developing Training
Model for the SW Region
The Southwest Region of Ontario is a very diverse and
It includes rural areas, small towns, midsize and larger
Agencies reported high drop-out rates and large
investment up-front in orientations and trainings.
Agencies identified that they wanted training that was
easy to access and was easy for them to administer.
Caregivers had differing schedules and it was hard to find
a common times for training.
Agencies wanted training that:
was consistent across the region
provided a basic level of training
provided an orientation to
candidates interested in being a caregiver.
Input from Families
Families reported that it was important to
them to be able to contract with people
who have adequate training to care for
their son or daughter with a disability.
Potential Uses for the Training
Screening of potential candidates.
Orientation and training.
Tool for parents who are screening their
Requiring people to take the course as a part
of screening allows the agencies to:
provide orientation about a common
discuss the importance of inclusion,
review and train about the actual duties
and role of someone providing the support
Determine a potential caregivers
Why Online Training for Respite?
Each participant receives the same training.
Reduces the number of orientation sessions and drop-out rates.
Cost-effective to create as a training tool.
Participants must pass course requirements to receive a certificate.
Certificates emailed directly upon successful completion.
The administrative fee is only $25
Training is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Respite Services Training Certificate
Defining Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, Caregivers will be able to:
Support a person in a “meaningful life”
Define clear boundaries, expectations
Have active listening skills
Create a positive environment to handle situations
Implement good health and safety practices
Recognize signs of abuse and response procedures
Properly bring closure to a respite relationship
Developing a Course Outline
Module 1: The World of Respite Support: An Overview
Module 2: People You Will Support
Module 3: How to Support a Person in a Meaningful Life
Module 4: Communication
Module 5: Boundaries
Module 6: Personal Care
Module 7: Creating a Positive Environment
Module 8: Confidentiality
Module 9: Health and Safety
Module 10: Abuse
Module 11: Closure
Module 12: Quiz and Summary
Glossary and Resources
Addressing Learning Styles
Engaging Carers in Discussion
Interactive Pre and Post Activities
Encouraging on-going learning
The Respite Learning Portal
The Respite Learning Portal is now the gateway to:
Links to agencies
Network with others through Discussion Boards.
Over 3,500 people have now taken Respite courses
Respite Care for People with Autism
Module 1: Your Roles as a Respite Worker
Module 2: Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder
Module 3: Communication
Module 4: Social Interaction and Play
Module 5: The Unique World of ASD
Module 6: Strategies for Positive and Enriching
Quizzes with added learning value
Interactivity and Coaching
Respite Workers, Autism and Your
Child: A Parent's Guide
1. Your Child's Unique Personality
2. Recruiting and Interviewing a Respite Care Provider
3. Orientation with Your Respite Provider
4. Keeping Things Safe
5. Training Your Worker to Communicate with Your
6. Keeping the Relationship Going
7. Modifying Activities for Your Child
8. Helpful Resources
Templates and Tools
The French Language Portal
We see the respite portal as having the potential to
have an ongoing discussion board for respite
Provide written resources for respite providers and
Share stories that encourage people to consider
Be a central site to add additional courses and
webinars to enhance topic specific training.
Safeguards Training for Children and Adult Services
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