As a result of advocacy by The Arc California, the elimination of the cap on respite services will take effect January 1, 2018. The cap of 21 days of out-of-home respite care per year or 90 hours of in-home respite care per quarter was put in place in 2009 to help address the budget deficit during the great recession. A measure eliminating the cap was included in the budget bill approved by Governor Jerry Brown. The restoration of respite services will likely help reduce racial disparities in the purchase of services by regional centers because data indicates that families of color tend to utilize respite services at higher rates.
The Arc California is advocating for lifting the cap on respite services. The caps of 90 hours of in-home respite over three months and 21 days of out-of-home respite per fiscal year were imposed in 2009 during the economic downturn and were intended to be temporary. This proposal was included in the budget approved by California’s Assembly and Senate and awaits Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.