Start Preparing for Camp Season
March 15, 2018
Caregivers of children who are eligible for services through the Children’s System of Care (CSOC) can apply now for funding for 2018 Summer Camp Services. Families can request financial support toward summer camp tuition and one-to-one aide services for summer camp.
A child is considered eligible for CSOC Summer Camp Services if:
- They are eligible for CSOC developmental disability (DD) services;
- They are under the age of 21 and will not turn 21 before the end of the camp dates selected for reimbursement; and
- He or she resides in his or her own home, with an uncompensated caregiver.
Information on how to apply, other eligibility criteria, application forms, deadlines, and frequently asked questions are available on PerformCare’s website.
Families must select a camp and a one-to-one aide provider from the CSOC list of qualified camps, and they must register the child with the camp prior to requesting funding. Camp funds cannot be used during the time that a child is eligible for extended school year services through their school district.
The deadline to apply is April 30, 2018.
Selecting the Right Camp for Your Child
Whether you are choosing from the qualified camp list or selecting a camp on your own, you may have questions about whether a camp is a good match for your child. Many of the camps on the CSOC qualified provider list are camps created specifically for children with developmental disabilities. Some are traditional summer camps that provide either special programs or accommodations within the regular camp program. Camps may also provide activities that are geared toward specific interests and activities.
It is important to know that the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of individuals with disabilities to attend camp programs. The American Camp Association (ACA) provides this helpful information from the United States Attorney’s Office that explains what camps must do to accommodate and provide equal opportunities to campers with disabilities. The ACA also has articles and resources to help families and camp providers.
Many camps offer scheduled days for families who are deciding on a camp to tour and learn more about the camp’s offerings. Others offer information on their website and have staff available to answer questions or even arrange a 1:1 meeting with families. Planning will provide the opportunity to see the camp, meet with the camp director, and find out important information such as camper-to-staff ratio, staff training, how emergencies and behavioral issues are handled, and the camp’s experience with children with disabilities.
Finding a Camp
Families requesting Summer Camp Services from CSOC must select a camp from the Qualified Provider List. In addition, Autism New Jersey maintains a list of summer camps in its online referral database. A list of camps accredited by the American Camp Association is also available.
Camp Funding for Adults Eligible for Services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)
With the shift from contract-based services to the Medicaid Fee-for-Service system, individuals will use funds from their budget to cover the cost of summer camp. A separate application for funding is no longer required. Families can search for Medicaid/DDD-approved providers in the Provider Search Database.