Introduced by Representatives Pugh of S. Burlington, Frank of Underhill, French of Randolph and Klein of East Montpelier
Subject: Human services; health; respite care; children; disabilities
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to increase the funding for the department of health’s respite care program for children with special health care needs to allow respite care payment amounts at a level equivalent to those paid through the flexible family program provided by the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living.
AN ACT RELATING TO RESPITE CARE FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL HEALTH CARE NEEDS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 33 V.S.A. chapter 63, subchapter 3 is added to read:
Subchapter 3. Respite Care for Children with Special Health Needs
§ 6331. RESPITE CARE SERVICES
(a) As used in this section, “respite care” means child care provided to parents of a child with special health care needs in order to allow the parent an opportunity for a rest from caring for the child.
(b) The department of health shall establish a respite care program to assist financially families with children with special health care needs in providing appropriate child care for the disabled child. Recipients of respite care subsidies shall hire, train, and terminate the employment of respite care providers as necessary, establish work schedules, manage the services, and oversee payments of respite care providers and recordkeeping.
(c) Respite care financial subsidies provided to families shall be set at an amount equivalent to the subsidy amount paid to families who receive respite care through the flexible family program in the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living.
(d) Information received or compiled by the department of health with respect to individuals using respite care services shall be confidential.
(e) The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section, including eligibility criteria for the program based on family income, criteria for determining service needs, rules relating to control and oversight of services by beneficiaries of a program, and procedures for handling and maintaining confidential information. Prior to filing a proposed rule, the commissioner shall seek input from parents of children with disabilities and organizations which represent such individuals.
(f) Appeals brought under this section shall be heard by the human services board.
Sec. 2. APPROPRIATION
(a) The additional sum of $330,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of health in fiscal year 2007 to provide an increase in respite care financial subsidies for children with special health care needs pursuant to this act. The total general fund appropriation is $550,000.00 for this program.
(b) The intent of this appropriation is to increase incrementally the respite care subsidy to become equivalent to the subsidies provided by the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living in the flexible family program.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street