Lifespan Respite
Technical Assistance Center

Federal Funding and Support Opportunities for Respite
Building Blocks for Lifespan Respite Systems

January 2012

To view or download entire report or sections of the report, see below:

This guide provides basic information about each of the federal programs that provide or could potentially provide respite funding or support. It is meant to be used by state Lifespan Respite Care Programs and their partners to help identify the funding sources that

· could be the building blocks for the state’s Lifespan Respite systems,
· could help serve the underserved,
· could help build respite capacity and quality and help recruit and retain respite workers, and
· would identify the individuals who administer these funds for future collaboration and partnerships.

This guide can also be useful to community- and faith-based programs and other local public and private entities that are looking for potential sources of funding to help build new respite programs or expand or sustain current efforts to fund training opportunities for respite providers or to enhance quality in other ways. It can also be useful to family caregivers or those who assist them in helping to identify sources of funding that could be used to pay for respite. Having numerous potential funding sources for respite certainly does not suggest that funding is even close to sufficient to meet the need, but it does suggest the need to coordinate such efforts to maximize their benefits.

The guide is divided into eight major sections. The first section focuses on Medicaid and Medicare programs. The second section, Medicaid Waiver Programs, describes the largest source of federal funding for respite that serves all age groups and individuals with various disabling and chronic conditions. An additional section describes provisions enacted in health care reform that have the potential to support respite. Three of the remaining sections describe respite funding sources specific to the age and/or special need of the care recipient: Programs for Children Only, Programs Serving All Ages, and Programs for the Aging. The last two sections describe respite funding sources for American Indians and Military Families and Veterans. Each program is summarized in a table in the Appendix.


Full Report, download pdf (1,276 KB)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements


Medicaid and Medicare, including Medicaid Waivers

Health Care Reform Provisions

Programs for Children Only

Child Welfare and Child Abuse Prevention

Child Education/Health/Mental Health

Child and Family Low-Income Assistance

Programs Serving all Ages

Programs for the Aging

Programs for American Indians

Programs for Military Families and Veterans

Appendix:  Summary Table


For summary version of report, see  Lifespan Respite "101" Tool Kit Fact Sheet 2: Building Blocks: Federal Funding for Respite for All Ages

This is a fluid document. If you find incorrect or outdated information or links that no longer work, please notify ARCH.

Thank you.



Lifespan Respite

Technical Assistance Center

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center

4016 Oxford Street

Annandale, VA 22003

(703) 256-2084

This project is supported, in part by grant number 90LT0002, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.


The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center is a division of the Chapel Hill Training-Outreach Project, Inc. | 800 Eastowne Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, 27514 |



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