Respite Care Provider Qualities

Some qualities to look for in a respite care provider:

  • Acceptance and warmth -- Does the person show a real kindness for all people, including individuals who have special needs?
  • Understanding -- Does the person recognize that people are in different stages of physical, mental, and social development? Does the person respond appropriately to your family member's limitations and strengths? (It's a good sign when a potential provider asks questions.)
  • Competence -- Can this person meet the individualized behavioral, feeding, sleeping, toileting, and socialization needs of your family member?
  • Patience -- Can the provider be patient when someone receiving care or a respite situation becomes especially challenging?
  • Fun, humor, and spontaneity -- Does the provider get on the floor and play with your child? Can the provider talk and laugh with an adult who is receiving care?
  • Good judgment -- Can the person solve problems and make good decisions, in both routine and emergency situations? Can you feel confident the family won't be left with extra problems to take care of after respite care?
  • Stamina -- Will the person be able to actively provide care and interact for many consecutive hours and still be alert, enthusiastic, and patient?
  • Respect -- Does the person listen to what you say? Will the person follow your family's rules and expectations?
  • Communication -- Is the provider able to ask questions and communicate important information to you?
  • Flexibility -- Can the person use a variety of approaches to meet the special needs of your family member? Is the person willing to shift from previous ways of doing things in order to follow your expectations?
  • Reliability -- Is the person punctual, consistent, and predictable?
  • Confidentiality -- Will the provider keep personal information about your child and family private?