Respite (RESS’-pit): Respite is temporary or short break for caregivers through planned or emergency services that provide a caregiver of a child or adult with a special need some time away from caregiver responsibilities for that child or adult, and which result in some measurable improvement in the well-being of the caregiver, care receiver, and/or family system.
LIFESPAN RESPITE AWARENESS MONTH- NOVEMBER 2019
Click here to see Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Proclamation
The History of Arkansas “Take the Time” Lifespan Respite Project
In 2013, DHS and other respite community providers and advocates across the state began meeting to form the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition. A respite summit was held that year bringing together stakeholders statewide who were interested in improving respite services in Arkansas and began seeking out funding opportunities.
In 2014, the State of Arkansas’ Department of Human Services was awarded its first federal Lifespan Respite Grant, titled Arkansas “Take the Time” Lifespan Respite Project. This grant was provided by the HHS- Administration for Community Living under Title XXIX of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C 201). Lifespan Respite Care Programs are required to improve delivery and quality of respite services available through the following objectives:
- Expand and enhance respite services in the state;
- Improve coordination and dissemination of respite services;
- Streamline access to programs;
- Fill gaps in service where necessary; and
- Improve the overall quality of respite services currently available.
In 2018, Arkansas DHS was awarded a second grant to continue advancing our respite goals and objectives. Additional supplemental funding was also received in 2019 to enhance respite services through the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Voucher Program.
Through our current grant funding, the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Project has been working towards the following key goals and objectives:
- Increase legislative awareness of respite needs in Arkansas;
- conduct a respite study for the creation of a state respite office to support program coordination;
- develop a state respite voucher program for family caregivers to support service provisions;
- conduct annual sustainability workshops to help plan for future growth of the statewide respite system;
- continue volunteer respite worker training; and
- conduct marketing to increase respite awareness
The purpose of the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition (ALRC) is not to act in the role of a direct service provider, but to build a statewide system to identify and coordinate respite care options for families regardless or age, special need, or other characteristics of the person needing care. The Division of Provider Services and Quality Assurance within the Arkansas Department of Human Services serves as the central point of contact for the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Project across the state.
The Arkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition’s goal is to improve the awareness and access of respite information and services available to families across age and disability spectrums by expanding and coordinating existing respite systems in Arkansas. The coalition partners with the Department of Human Services-Arkansas “Take the Time” Lifespan Respite program. To learn more about the program, download the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Brochure.
If you are interested in joining the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition, please contact Sarah Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Coalition Members: