Connecting to Families

After completing the certification process, new providers are added to the NAMI NAMIProvider Register, and this information is distributed to families. Considerations a family may use when locating a NAMI certified provider may include needs of the child, type of respite requested, geographic limitations, and experience of the NAMI certified provider.

Families are in control of the selection process. They decide whichNAMI certified providers they would like to meet, which they would like to use, and when they will actually use the service.  The NAMI Maine Respite Program does provide oversight or supervision to certified  providers, and is available to answer questions about the program.

It is important that you keep the NAMI Maine Respite Program informed of your availability so that information on the NAMI Maine Certified Provider Register given to families and case managers is current.
NAMI Maine certified respite providers should use the following steps when receiving a call from a family requesting respite services.


Step One: Phone Interview

When you receive a phone call from a new NAMI Maine family, have some questions ready to ask them, such as:

  • What times and days do you need respite?
  • Where do you live?
  • Tell me about your child's diagnosis and behavior.

The parent or caregiver is likely to have many questions for you as well. Tell the parent or caregiver about your background in working with children with special needs. If you are not a good match for the family, simply say "I'm sorry, I'm not available." Remember, it is expected that you will always return telephone calls promptly and keep your commitments to children and families.

Step Two: Meet

If the family's needs match your availability, schedule a first meeting.  Have questions that are important to you ready to ask, such as:

  • Tell me more about your child's routine.
  • Does your child have any allergies?
  • What should I do in case of an emergency?
  • What does your child like to do?


Step Three: Schedule the NAMI Maine first Respite opportunity.

Schedule a time for the NAMI Maine certified respite provider to care for the child for the first time. You may want to spend time with the child while the parent or caregiver supervises. Or you may have the parent or caregiver go on a short outing, such as to the grocery store, so that you and the child can get to know each other.


Funding for this program provided by the Department of Health and Human Services