If you're looking for a respite provider for children in Des Moines or Iowa City, then you have come to the right place. ChildServe Respite is designed to give families a break from the day-to-day care involved in supporting a child with special health care needs. We offer individual and specialized respite, where children spend time one-on-one with a caregiver in the family’s home or community. Group respite options for youth, like sleepovers, Kids Club, and Camp ChildServe, offer great opportunities for socialization and fun!
- Safe, quality care
- Opportunities for new experiences
- Opportunities to socialize with others
- Participation in community activities
- Opportunity for a break and time to recharge!
- Opportunity to devote time to other family members, friends and self
- Provides options for care during crisis/emergencies
- Provides additional support during stressful times
- Strengthens family relationships
- Loving care
- High energy
- Break for parents
Types of Respite
Individual Respite offers the opportunity for children to spend one-on-one time with a caregiver in the family’s home or community.
Specialized Respite provides one-on-one Respite care with a licensed nurse in the family’s home or community setting.
- Respite Weekends are staffed with nursing support and run from Friday through Sunday evenings.
- Sleepovers are monthly groups which offer children and teens the opportunity for socialization.
- Kids Club and Super Saturdays offer families a daytime group option on Saturdays.
- Camp ChildServe is accredited by the American Camp Association, offering weekly and full summer program options.
Best Caregivers Around!
ChildServe’s respite caregivers are awesome, and it shows - our community-based programs have 94% family satisfaction!
- When possible we hire the child’s friends or family members to provide respite care
- We provide all training required - and staff are paid for their time
- Starting wages more than $10/hour with annual increases or bonuses
- All staff age 21+ are eligible for our 403(b) retirement program and company match
If your family needs respite services, talk to your friends and family members about joining Iowa’s best team of caregivers!
Frequently Asked Questions
Respite services are funded through Medicaid Waivers. There is no fee to the individual for respite. There may be activity related costs that the individual would be responsible for.
Services are authorized by the individual’s case manager or service worker. Typically there is a care team meeting to discuss service options, assess needs, identify goals, and determine the frequency of services to be provided. A Notice of Decision will be provided to ChildServe and the family, stating how many units of service are authorized either monthly or annually.
• Individual (basic) – one/one with a staff
• Specialized Respite – one/one with a nurse
• Group Respite
• Respite provided in a group setting at ChildServe with a 1:3 staff/individual ratio
• Respite provided in family home, staff homes, or community with multiple children (i.e. two siblings, both eligible for waiver services)
• Camp ChildServe- day camp provided in a group setting with a 1:3 staff/individual ratio.Day Camp is open for children who are school aged.
Respite services take place year-round in the following locations:
• The ChildServe Respite Center (Ames, Johnson and Iowa City) – Group Respite/camp options
• Individual’s home/community setting
• Staff’s home
• Camp may be held at an off-site location in both the Ames and Johnston areas
- Individual (basic) & Specialized Respite: Families can arrange to self schedule with their staff, or go through their respite supervisor to set up consistent day/time with staff or nurse.
- Group Respite: Group services are offered every weekend of the year with the exception of identified holiday weekends. Weekend groups run from Friday through Sunday. Additional groups are offered Friday evenings or Saturdays during the day.
- Camp ChildServe day groups are offered during Spring Break, Winter Break, and all summer long.
Families will receive a Notice of Decision authorizing the number of hours that are available. It is the family’s responsibility to utilize services within the authorized amount. A daily cap has been established through the waiver. For ChildServe, this means the maximum utilization on any calendar day would be:
- Group Respite – 24 hours
- Individual/Basic Respite – 17 hours
- Specialized Respite – 8 hours
- Respite may not be provided while both parents/primary caregivers are working (as childcare).
- Respite is only for the individual enrolled in the respite service, and therefore staff may not provide supervision to siblings or other children during the respite shift.
- Respite cannot be provided during doctor, therapy or other medical type appointments if provided through Medicaid funding.
- Respite cannot be provided during school.
- ChildServe enrolls individuals who live in Polk, Story, or surrounding counties in Iowa. If staff is available, ChildServe may also enroll individuals from counties outside this service area in Iowa. ChildServe will also consider enrolling an individual outside our service area if the family is willing to travel to Ames or Johnston for group respite.
- For group services, an individual must be able to be successful in a 1:3 staff/individual ratio.