ELIZABETH, NJ - The 'Rest Easy Caregivers' program -- providing for in-home respite services Monday through Saturday for families in need of assistance in caring for children with disabilities and special needs during the COVID-19 outbreak -- is set to begin, using approximately $1 million of Federal CARES Act dollars to fund the grant program.

Details on applying for a grant are available at ucnj.org/rest-easy-caregiver-grant. Additional questions about the program can be submitted by email to uccaresrespite@ucnj.org.

The Rest Easy Caregivers grant program will provide services six days per week up to a total of 10 hours weekly. Expenses covered by the program also include administrative support and supplies needed for COVID-19 prevention.

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The grant program covers all 21 municipalities; however, applications will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will be given to applicants residing in designated Communities of Opportunity, as identified in the 2019 Union County Department of Human Services Community Needs Assessment. The Communities of Opportunity include Elizabeth, Hillside, Linden, Plainfield, Roselle, Rahway, and the Township of Union.

“The Rest Easy Caregivers grant program is designed to help families who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to care for their children with disabilities,” said Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “With a trained respite care worker to assist them, parents can make time to pursue employment opportunities and tend to tasks that require them to be outside of the home.”

For more information about programs and services for Union County residents with disabilities and special needs, visit the Office for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs, contact the Office Director, Manuel Ramirez at mramirez@ucnj.org or call 908-527-4807.