Lehigh County Children's Mental Health / Valley Youth HouseFAMILY DRIVEN RESPITE PROGRAM
The purpose of the Family Driven Respite Program is to assist parents who have children with special needs to maintain the care of their child in their own home through providing financial reimbursement for one-on-one respite services to enhance the growth and development of a child and his or her family, thus helping prevent out-of-home placements.
Children must be between the ages of 3 and 18 (18 through 21 if still in school) and receiving Medical Assistance funded mental health services. Children who receive any waiver dollars via Mental Retardation will be exempt.
Family Driven Respite services are provided in the child’s home, community, or in the caregiver’s home. Service hours and site locations are determined through agreement and scheduling between the family and their identified caregiver.
Family Driven Respite Program services are provided by caregivers identified by the family. Caregivers must be 19 years of age or older and need to submit the following clearances to Valley Youth House prior to the provision and reimbursement of respite services: (clearances need to be within one year of service initiation and clearance forms can be provided by VYH)
- FBI Criminal Background Check: the cost to complete the criminal background check is $36. The process to complete the criminal background check can be found at: https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_dpw.htm
- Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check: the cost to complete the criminal record check is $10. The process to complete the criminal record check can be found at: https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp
- Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance: the cost to complete the clearance is $10. The process can only be completed via U.S. mail. The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance form can be found at: http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/resources/documents/pdf/fillinforms/dpwchildabuse.pdf
The cost of these clearances can be deducted from the family allocation.
The Valley Youth House Child Mentor Case Manager is available to provide assistance to families in completing this paperwork.
The Family Driven Respite Program provides to families an allocation of $880 for the financial reimbursement of family-identified caregivers who provide respite services to a child with special needs. This allocation covers the time period of July 1st through June 30th.
Lehigh County Children’s Mental Health is responsible for determining the eligibility of a child for the Family Driven Respite Program. The eligibility determination includes:
- A consensus exists among providers that reimbursement for Family Driven Respite Program services should be provided;
- A determination that the child meets other program eligibility requirements.
Families will be authorized by Lehigh County Children’s Mental Health to receive financial allocations. This financial allocation is provided to families for the purpose of reimbursing their caregiver for the provision of care to the authorized child. The rate of reimbursement is determined between the family and the caregiver they choose. Valley Youth House Mentoring Program Supervisor or Case Manager is responsible for receiving all authorizations and will administer the reimbursement of these funds as documented on an “Invoice/Request for Payment” form and “Tracking Log Sheet” (please see attachments).
The Valley Youth House Case Manager will contact the family within one business day of authorization to initiate the collection of the identified caregiver’s documentation of completed background checks and instruct the family regarding the reimbursement process.
There are two options for reimbursement:
- Family Reimbursement: The family can pay out of pocket for services and then submit an “Invoice / Request For Payment” to Valley Youth House for reimbursement. In this process, verification of payment to the caregiver needs to be attached to the “Tracking Log Sheet”.
- Caregiver Reimbursement: The caregiver can submit an “Invoice / Request For Payment” and a “Tracking Log Sheet” to Valley Youth House whereupon payment will be sent directly to the caregiver.
U.S. tax law requires Valley Youth House to issue a Form 1099 for any person who is paid $600 or more during a calendar year through the Family Driven Respite Program. This applies to both Family Reimbursement and Caregiver Reimbursement.
Reimbursement to families or caregivers will occur biweekly on Tuesday and Thursday. For Tuesday disbursement, paperwork needs to be received by the Valley Youth House Mentoring Case Manager by Thursday, 9:00 AM of the prior week. For Thursday disbursement, paperwork needs to be received by the Valley Youth House Mentoring Case Manager by Monday, 9:00 AM of the present week. The Valley Youth House Mentoring Case Manager is located at 524 West Walnut Street, Allentown, 18101. The phone number is (610) 432-6481.
Reimbursement is contingent on the timely submission of complete and correct “Invoice / Request For Payment”, “Tracking Log Sheet”, and verification of payment to the caregiver.
Payment may be greatly delayed or even denied if proper documentation is not provided. Families will be immediately informed when problems occur. Future reimbursements will be contingent on the successful resolution of any issues.
All client records shall include at least the following information:
- Lehigh County Children’s Mental Health Referral Form
- Lehigh County Children’s Mental Health authorization
- Caregiver’s FBI Criminal Background Check; Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check; Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance.
- All submitted “Invoice/Request For Payment” and “Tracking Log Sheet” forms.
It is the policy of Valley Youth House that persons receiving services are entitled to confidentiality of records and information as set forth in Chapters 5100.31–5100.39 (related to confidentiality of mental health records) and other applicable Federal (HIPAA) and State requirements.
Authorized children will be discharged from the Family Driven Respite Program upon exhaustion of their financial allocation.
Valley Youth House will provide reimbursement until the exhaustion of the financial allocation with the following exceptions:
- The child and his/her parent/guardian requests that services be terminated before that time, or
- The family moves from the jurisdiction of Lehigh County, or
- There is a concern regarding falsification of reimbursement documents whereby reimbursement will be suspended for investigatory purposes with the possibility of reinstatement or termination dependent on the outcome of the investigation, or
- By direction from Lehigh County Mental Health Division to Valley Youth House to terminate reimbursement.
Individuals who have been terminated from services over their objection, or the objection of the parent if the consumer is a child, shall have a right to appeal the decision in accordance with Chapter 275 (relating to appeal and fair hearing.)
It is the policy of Valley Youth House to review any client grievance. The first step in the procedure is for the family to discuss the grievance with the Program Supervisor. If the family is not satisfied with the response to the grievance, he/she is to discuss the situation with the Program Director. Should the family remain unsatisfied at that level of appeal, the family may discuss the grievance with the Senior Vice President and, if necessary, President and CEO.
If unsatisfied with the President and CEO’s response, the client may appeal the grievance to the Lehigh County Children’s Mental Health Unit.