Respite Services

“As a parent for a child with special needs, Respite Care provides the most giving and helpful service that I have. It makes a world of difference.”

Respite Programs for Families with Special Needs 

Caring for a loved one with special needs requires countless time and attention. To need a break from time to time – to want a respite from the daily duties of care – is absolutely normal, particularly for people who are often performing “superhuman” activities. 


JCFS’ Respite program helps provide support to families caring for someone with special needs. Our respite program takes a supportive, nurturing and therapeutic approach, which enhances individuals growth and development, while providing caregivers short-term relief. We offer many types of Respite scenarios for parents who need a little “me time” throughout the year.


Community Respite Services for Clients with Developmental Disabilities

Funded by the Department of Human Services, in-home respite services are provided to parents with children with developmental disabilities including—but not limited to—Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome. There is currently a waiting list for this service.

Community Support Services for Clients with Mental Health Diagnoses

Community support services, funded by the Department of Human Services, are provided to children with mental health diagnoses ages 4 to 17, and who receive Medicaid. Mental health diagnoses include—but are not limited to—Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Bipolar Disorder and Depression. Support services are provided until the child’s individual service goals are achieved.

Sunday Group Respite Services

Sunday Group Respite Services provide children with the opportunity for social interactions, age-appropriate activities and individual skill development. Children with special needs and their typically developing siblings are eligible to participate. Group Respite Services are held at the West Rogers Park location.

Take-Five Weekend

Take-Five Weekend is an all-expense paid getaway for families in the Community Respite or who are on the waiting list waiting to receive respite services. This event provides an opportunity for families to enjoy some time away for their usual routines. Families are chosen by a lottery for each event, which are held several time each year at a hotel in Downtown Chicago. A pizza party is provided where respite workers will be available to spend time with the children and provide parents with a well-deserved break.

System of Care (SOC)/Maintaining Adoption Connections (MAC) Respite Service

Funded by the Department of Children and Family Services, respite is provided to clients within the agency’s SOC/MAC program. Services predominantly take place within the community. The main goal of SOC/MAC is to help stabilize the client’s placement through a mentoring relationship that provides exposure to the many activities and resources within their community.

Get Help

Call toll-free, 855.ASK.JCFS (855.275.5237) or email