AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Most of the time, social service programs have many more applicants than they do money for services. But right now, NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, says it has plenty of money available to help families who need respite care. It's looking for families.
NAMI took over Respite For ME, which is funded by the state, this summer. Qualifying families with children who have certain disabilities can receive up to 192 hours a year of child care, so parents can have personal time without the stress of constant care giving. The program has been around for a long time, but because of confidentiality issues, NAMI has not been able to access the lists of families who have received services in the past.
And some families, who used relatives for respite care, seem daunted by NAMI's new certification requirements for respite workers.
The agency wants people to know that they will work with care providers to make sure they get the qualifications they need to get paid.
Respite Program Director Pete Phair said, "We anticipated that families would be clamoring for this service. And the fact that our numbers are so low show a number of things have happened and not the least of which is we haven't been able to reach out to the families we need to reach."
If you are interested in receiving or providing respite services, give NAMI a call at 1-800-464-5767, or click here for more information.