Specialized Care and Incentive Assistance Program and Respite Care (SCIAP)
What Is SCIAP?
The Specialized Care and Incentive Assistance Program [SCIAP] and Respite Care Programs are funded by the State of California. These funds are intended to be used solely for the benefit of eligible children with medical or behavioral challenges and only after alternative funding sources such as Special Care Incentives [SCI], Medi-Cal, California Children's Services and Kern Regional Center funds have been exhausted and/or denied.
Who Is Eligible For SCIAP?
Only federally eligible dependents of the court placed with relatives, foster family homes and legal guardians are eligible. Those NOT eligible include children in group homes or foster family agency homes, children receiving SSI/Social Security only benefits and undocumented children.
What Can SCIAP Pay For?
Use of SCIAP funds is limited to specific goods and services on a NON-RECURRING basis. Pre-approved expenses could include:
- Medical equipment and equipment to maintain a power supply
- Replacement or repair of eyeglasses and dental appliances
- Activities to enhance and improve a child's growth [as funds permit]
- Items to build a child's self-esteem
- Mileage and lodging for medical care requiring out of county travel [may include an overnight stay]
SCIAP Can Help With
- Summer camp and sports
- Club tuitions and fees
- Respite Care
- FFA or 4-H
- Graduation costs
- Self-esteem builders
- Band and orchestra
- Replace glasses/retainers
What Is Respite Care?
Respite care pays substitute caregivers while permanent caregivers take a pre-approved break [for eligible children.] Need for respite care includes:
- Caretaker's family or medical emergency
- Caretaker “time out”
- Caretaker stays with hospitalized foster child
Limitations and Restrictions
There are two payment categories: Regular [for most children] and Enhanced [for children requiring Level II and above SCI.] Regular respite care is limited to seven  days/168 hours per child annually and pays $3 per hour/per child or $36 per day [12-24 hours.]
Enhanced is limited to 12 days/288 hours per child annually and pays $60 per day [12-24 hours.] Maximum respite care pay is $156 per day/caregiver, and cannot be used for ordinary childcare expenses and is not an option to emergency foster home placement.
A child's out of home stay in respite care is limited to no more than 72 consecutive hours per incident of respite.
Who Do I Contact?
Contact your child's social worker for details or to submit a request for use of SCIAP funds. Discuss your plans for taking advantage of SCIAP funding and Respite Care with your child's worker BEFORE incurring the expense. There are restrictions and limitations for disbursement of these funds. Checks are issued from the Kern County Auditor/Controller's office, and those accessing funds must be prepared to wait at least 4 weeks for issuance of payment.