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Office of Mental Health

Home and Community Based Services Waiver
Guidance Document
Respite Worker Competencies

  1. Information
    The Respite worker demonstrates knowledge in the following areas:
    • Behaviors associated with serious emotional disturbances in children and adolescents
    • Effective responses to undesirable behaviors
    • Conflict management techniques with children
    • Caring for children with traumatic histories
    • Principles of the Individualized Care Model
    • Developmental stages and tasks and appropriate recreational activities
    • Impact of learning disabilities and developmental delays on engagement in relationships and activities
    • HCBS Waiver philosophy and guidelines
    • Worker safety in the home and community
  2. Cultural Competency
    The Respite worker practices cultural competency as described in the following:
    • Demonstrates sensitivity to the cultural and ethnic norms of the family served
    • Demonstrates a non-judgmental approach to caring for children whose backgrounds and values differ from their own
    • Matches respite activities to the child’s cultural values
  3. Tasks And Skills The Respite worker demonstrates competency in performing the following tasks:
    1. Safety
      • Provides supervision to ensure the safety of the child at all times
      • Describes child’s safety alerts plan, including problem behaviors, triggers, effective responses prior to providing Respite
      • Describes child’s emergency contacts, medications, health concerns prior to providing Respite
      • Follows agency safety policy and procedures
      • Identifies safety risk factors within the environment
      • Provides ICC with schedule of client visits
    2. Engagement of Child
      • Communicates clearly with the child and family
      • Employs active listening skills
      • Establishes boundaries
      • Defines expectations
      • Offers reassurance and encouragement
      • Supports child’s participation in selecting activities
      • Provides feedback to the child and family
    3. Planning and Implementing Recreational Activities
      • Works to motivate the child to identify and participate in recreational activities
      • Assures that activities are suited to the child’s actual developmental capabilities
      • Models and teaches socially acceptable behaviors
      • Supports the child and family’s values and preferences in selecting activities
      • Promotes activities that support the individual service plan’s goals and objectives
      • Uses creativity in planning activities
      • Utilizes community resources
      • Uses flex dollars in accord with the child’s service plan and Waiver and ICC agency guidelines
      • Maintains familiarity with the child’s service plans
    4. Team Process
      • Maintains on-going communication with the Individualized Care Coordinators
      • Informs ICC of concerns and changes in child’s behavior
      • Obtains approval for use of flex dollars
      • Receives information from the ICC regarding the child’s service plans and safety alerts plan
      • Seeks feedback from ICC on child and family status and their role
    5. Documentation
      • Demonstrates basic writing skills
      • Completes Respite Progress Notes per ICC agency and Waiver guidelines, filling in all required billing elements
      • Relates each Progress Note to a goal and objective
      • Identifies flex dollar expenditures and amounts spent in the Progress Note
      • Submits receipts for flex fund expenditures to ICC agency
      • Completes ICC agency’s forms as required
      • Assures that hours of contact billed match time sheet
    6. Fulfillment of Requirements
      • Adheres to NYS and agency requirements including: HIPPA, ethical guidelines, worker safety protocols
      • Reports untoward events and suspected or actual abuse per NYS and ICC agency requirements
      • Participates in supervisory session
      • Attends training and inservices