Respite & Recreation

Having a loved-one with an intellectual and/or developmental disability is stressful for caregivers and families. Respite care reduces that stress while ensuring that the individual with the disability is safe in the care of an empathetic, qualified professional.

Respite is designed to provide caregivers time to recharge and attend to other aspects of their lives, such as their other children or their partner, without undermining the stability so important to individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability.

How does this help the individual with an intellectual or developmental disability?

Parents who are recharged and rested are better able to support their loved ones. Although there are no formal learning goals for respite services, our staff make use of learning opportunities that arise. We may work with the individual on skills or go out to enjoy activities in the community, as appropriate.

After School Respite services are available every day that New York City schools are in session and typically run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Our trained Direct Support Professionals give individuals ages 15 to 21 the opportunity to socialize, participate in activities, make friends, do homework or just unwind after the school day.

Is this program centered more around playing or learning?

On-site and community activities provide recreation, socialization, and functional academics. Our staff help individuals with homework and take advantage of opportunities for teaching during all activities.

Where is After School Respite offered?

Currently, our After School Respite is offered in Brooklyn and Queens.

School holidays can be a challenge to caregivers, especially to those who are working. Holiday Respite provides care when New York City schools are closed. We provide this program in Brooklyn and Queens to individuals 12 to 21 years old.

If my child is in private school, can I still get Holiday Respite?

The service is provided on days when NYC Department of Education schools are closed. Children who attend private schools or are home-schooled can also participate in Holiday Respite when New York City schools are closed.

What will my child do during the program day?

Holiday Respite lets your child enjoy activities out in the community, such as going to the movies, the circus, restaurants, or a car show. It’s a time to have fun with their peers.

How many hours a day will my child be at Holiday Respite?

A typical program day is 6 to 8 hours long, depending on pick-up and drop-off times.

Will the individual get a break from schoolwork?

Yes! Everyone deserves a vacation so this service primarily focuses on recreation.

Is transportation provided?

Transportation is provided to and from your home as well as to all activities.

How can I apply?

Eligibility for respite and recreation programs is determined by the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) after assessing the individual’s needs and circumstances. Our Service Coordinators can help you find out if you are eligible for respite services.

Individuals enjoy getting out and about with friends, in the company of trained, empathetic Heaven’s Hands staff members.

“I cannot leave my son alone. It’s nice for families to get away for a bit, if only to go to the grocery store. Respite allows parents to do things they aren’t able to do otherwise.”
— Mother of a son with developmental disabilities

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