Fitchburg, Massachusetts


LUK (Let us Know) Hourly Respite Program, established in 2004, provides respite services to caregivers of children birth to 18-years with emotional and/or behavioral disturbances in a center-based setting, through home-based respite, or out in the community, such as at YMCAs, parks, libraries, and farms to engage in accessible activities at no cost to families. Using a family systems approach to services, LUK Respite also provides crisis respite in a residential setting. Receiving referrals from the Departments of Mental Health, Developmental Services, and Children and Families, LUK Respite employs a broad definition for “caregivers”, and also works with foster caregivers and with children in difficult life circumstances to help stabilize caregiving situations and address children’s social-emotional, mental health, and behavioral needs. The program matches a trained respite worker to a family to ensure individualized services. Because the program works in an area that is culturally diverse, LUK Respite establishes strong connections with culturally diverse organizations, and hires multilingual staff members. Families and staff are matched in part based upon cultural background and language spoken. The program offers staff flexibility in taking extended work breaks to care for their own emotional and mental health needs when they arise. Data are recorded and tracked using CareLogic, a web-based electronic health record systems for behavioral health. In addition to tracking authorizations, consents and counseling services, LUK Respite works with each family to develop an individualized action plan to address identified family issues, guide parent coaching, and support caregivers in developing skills to engage with their children and cope with stress and parenting challenges.