Family Respite Centers
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Respite Center?
The DDS Respite Centers have been designed to provide 24-hour care for extended weekends in comfortable home-like environments. They are operated and staffed by DDS. All staff who work at the Respite Centers are DDS employees who have received all of the necessary training to provide quality care to persons with developmental disabilities. There is 24-hour supervision at the centers. Several of the centers have 24-hour nursing availability.
Respite Centers are open every weekend during the year, though each Respite Center may vary slightly in terms of their hours of operation. Whether a family is looking for an overnight or several days of respite, the Respite Centers will try to accommodate their needs. In addition to long weekends, each Respite Center is open for 8 full weeks throughout the year, which includes full weeks during the summer and some school vacations. Specific dates may vary depending on the respite center in which you are interested.
Who is Eligible to Stay at a Respite Center?
Individuals who are eligible to receive services from DDS and reside with their families may apply for planned day or overnight respite at a Respite Center. Priority is given to families who are not receiving other in-home supports, personal supports or certain other types of services from the department. DDS Respite Centers are generally able to accommodate individuals with various abilities and needs, as well as persons who may have behavioral or medical challenges.  Please contact your DDS case manager or your region's Respite Coordinator with any specific questions.

Where Are The Respite Centers Located?
Respite Centers are available in each of DDS’s three Regions. The South Region has Respite Centers located in Meriden, Hamden and Waterford. The North Region centers are located in Putnam, Windsor, and Newington. The West Region has Respite Centers in Torrington, Stratford, Norwalk, and Southbury.
How do I Apply for Respite Center Services?
You may contact your family member’s DDS Case Manager for more information. Your Case Manager will provide you with the necessary information and help you with the process of applying and scheduling a visit to one or more of the Respite Centers.
How do I Make Arrangements to Obtain Respite at a Center?
There are three steps to the process:
Step One:  To use a particular Respite Center in your region for the first time, ask your Case Manager to help you schedule a pre-visit meeting with that center’s Supervisor. Once you notify your case manager that you are interested in using the respite centers in your region, you will receive a respite packet, to fill out prior to scheduling a pre-visit.  The information you provide will help the respite staff become familiar with your family member, and can help the visit run smoothly and efficiently. 
The pre-visit meeting is an opportunity for you to tour the center and meet with Respite Center staff.  Any questions or concerns you have will be addressed at this meeting. In addition, Respite Center staff will have an opportunity to learn as much as possible about your family member who would be staying there – what medications they might take, what types of food they eat, what special things they enjoy doing, what types of adaptive devices they might use, and other information essential to providing a good respite visit. Your family member who would like to stay at the Respite Center must accompany you to the pre-visit meeting.
Step Two:  Once your family has had the pre-visit meeting at a center and it has been determined that the center can meet your needs, you can decide if you would like to schedule a planned Respite Center visit. This can be done by contacting your Case Manager to request respite for your preferred date(s).
Step Three:  Each Region has a committee which meets regularly to review requests.  The committee, as part of the scheduling process, works to ensure good peer groupings. Requests for special dates are taken into consideration.  The Case Manager is notified of the approved scheduled dates.  You will be contacted by your Case Manager, the Respite Center’s Supervisor, or the region’s designee to inform you if the Respite Center is able to accommodate your request.
How Often May I use the Respite Center?
Scheduling is based upon the availability of space and the peer groupings for a particular weekend.  The department tries to accommodate families’ plans by scheduling respite center visits in advance.  Every attempt is made to honor a family’s request for a specific date. However, due to the large number of requests that DDS receives, there is no guarantee that a family will be approved for the dates they request.  It is best to indicate a second or third choice when your Case Manager assists you to submit a request for using a Respite Center. Additional visits may be offered to families if there are cancellations.  If resources allow, DDS tries to provide families with multiple weekends of respite per year.
Is Transportation Provided?
DDS Respite Center staff are not able to provide transportation to and from the family home, school or day services program.  Family members must be present at the time an individual is admitted to the Respite Centers and at the time of discharge.  Once an individual is at the respite center, however, staff will provide transportation for various community outings and activities.
What Activities will be Provided?
Having fun at the centers is one of the reasons people enjoying coming back. Recreational activities and community outings are planned based upon the interests of the individuals staying at the centers.  Families should plan to provide spending money for their family member’s use during the respite stay.  This will enable your family member to participate in the community with peers during the respite visit.
What does the Respite Center Cost?
There is no charge for using DDS Respite Centers. The centers are funded through the Department of Developmental Services.  If this practice were to change in the future, families would be notified in advance.
For more specific, please contact your Case Manager or the Respite Coordinator in your Region listed below:
North Region
Sandy Parsons
Phone:  860-331-2018
South Region
Rita Snipes
Phone: 203-974-4270
West Region
Bernard McNair
Phone: 203-806-8766