Lifespan Respite Care Program

The Lifespan Respite Care Program was authorized by Congress in 2006 under Title XXIX of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C 201). Lifespan Respite Care programs are coordinated systems of accessible, community-based respite care services for family caregivers of children and adults of all ages with special needs. Such programs reduce duplication of effort and assist in the development of respite care infrastructures at the state and local levels.

Lifespan Respite Care programs work to improve the delivery and quality of respite services available through the following objectives:

  1. Expand and enhance respite services in the states;

  2. Improve coordination and dissemination of respite services;

  3. Streamline access to programs;

  4. Fill gaps in service where necessary; and

  5. Improve the overall quality of the respite services currently available.

Since 2009, Congress has appropriated approximately $2.5 million per year to implement Lifespan Respite Programs. As of 2017, competitive grants of up to $200,000 each were awarded to eligible agencies in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

Eligible agencies are those administering the state’s program under the Older Americans Act of 1965 or Title XIX of the Social Security Act (Medicaid), or those designated by a Governor to administer the state’s program under this title. The eligible state agency must be an Aging and Disability Resource Center and work in collaboration with a public or private nonprofit statewide respite care coalition or organization.

With these initial three-year grants, states have developed or built upon respite infrastructures through a variety of approaches designed to enhance or improve access to and receipt of respite services. Grantee activities include:

  • Environmental scanning to understand available respite programs and family caregiver needs;
  • Marketing and outreach campaigns to educate family caregivers about respite and how to access services;
  • Training of volunteer and paid respite providers to increase the availability of respite services;
  • Partnering with communities of faith to develop respite programs;
  • Developing or enhancing statewide databases of respite care programs, services, and information to improve access for family caregivers; and
  • Developing and implementing person-centered respite service options, such as vouchers.

ACL has since funded states to build upon and expand the efforts started during their previous three years of work. Grantees are focusing on more fully integrating Lifespan Respite Care Programs into state systems of long-term services and supports. The new grants require states to provide gap-filling respite services to family caregivers, and to work with ACL to develop program performance and outcome measures.

Lifespan Respite Care Program Grantees

2018 Grantees

New Advancing State Grants: $783,134

  • Arkansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Virginia

Additional Supplemental Funding for 12 2017 Advancing States Lifespan Respite System Grantees: $261,590

Supplemental Funding for Technical Assistance Center: $18,215
ARCH was awarded additional funding to:

  • develop and host a webinar series on effective respite messaging strategies. Potential webinar speakers include public relations or marketing experts to provide technical assistance in developing effective public awareness campaigns.
  • Host an additional Lifespan Respite Summit with current Lifespan Respite grantee
  • Update and streamline the Lifespan Respite Grantee and Partners website and related webpages to ensure that ARCH resources are more easily accessible.
2017 Grantees

New State Grants

  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota

Advancing States Lifespan Respite System Grants

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Washington
2016 Grantees

New State Grants

  • Maryland
  • Mississippi

Expansion Grants

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Washington
2015 Grantees

New State Grants

  • Florida
2014 Grantees

New State Grants

  • Arkansas

Integration and Sustainability Grants

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
2013 Grantees

New State Grants

  • Idaho

Integration and Sustainability Grants

  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
2012 Grantees

New State Grant

  • Iowa

Expansion Grants

  • Massachusetts
  • Virginia

Integration and Sustainability Grants

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
2011 Grantees

New State Grants

  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Virginia

Expansion Grants

  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
2010 Grantees

New State Grants

  • Delaware
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
2009 Grantees

New State Grants

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

Technical Assistance

Technical assistance (TA) is a key component of effective program development. Since implementation began in 2009, ACL has funded the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center to provide TA to the Lifespan Respite Program grantees and the field.

ARCH’s current TA activities focus on assisting states in the development of sustainable, integrated, and high-quality respite programs across the lifespan; supporting the development of a framework to measure program performance and outcomes; and collecting, synthesizing, disseminating, and stimulating research in the field of respite and family caregiver support. For more information, visit the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center.

Lifespan Respite Care Program—Reauthorization

The Lifespan Respite Care Act is due to be reauthorized. From January 6 through March 31, 2011, AoA solicited input regarding the reauthorization from interested individuals and organizations. Find a summary of the input that was received (PDF, 13KB).


Last modified on 01/16/2019


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