While I DO appreciate the 480 hrs/year my son qualifies for on the DD Waiver...I have been able to use only 4....Yes, 4 hours because Respites is simply not available in the Richmond Area and to try and hire someone for an occasional care-provider time here and there is not doable.
Please KEEP Appendix K because there are no caregivers out there willing to work for $12/hr, and Care Hiring Agencies have closed left and right due to Covid. The Parent/Caregivers should be able to be PAID the Respite Hours because I know with MY son, there's LOTS of $$$$$ in Respite Hours available over the years, which has never been spent, so WHERE have those funds gone, and Paying this to the Caregiver Parents instead would allow them to find/pay for their own Respite providers when/how they can, as in occasionally having a trusted family member perform child care without the Red Tape of having to get them hired through an agency.
We have the chance to get this right. Pay the parent caregivers 80/hrs/week AND the Respite hours, and allow the Parent Caregivers, when they can, to have other friends/family/neighbors provide occasional respite care with the funds directly. Parent Caregivers are NOT going to get rich from this, as we are tied up often with tremendous medical bills, travel, incidentals, hotels and other associated costs of care for our children, especially with travel medicine at times.
It is hard to impossible to find proper care for our children we can trust with strangers coming in and out (before Covid..) like revolving doors.