In October 2021, the Division of Provider Services and Quality Assurance (DPSQA) was selected to participate in a unique opportunity to create and implement a free, online training opportunity for individuals interested in providing respite care. In collaboration with 8 other states across the country, basic respite care training standards were developed. DPSQA, in partnership with the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition, then customized additional training modules specific to Arkansas law, regulations and programs.
The goal of the multi-state pilot project was to expand the pool of trained, qualified respite care providers in each state. This pilot project opportunity is provided by the ARCH National Respite Network, the Respite Care Association of Wisconsin and the National Academy for State Health Policy. Click here to see our promotional brochure.
The Arkansas Lifespan Respite Care Provider Training site went live on January 1, 2022. The certification course contains one introductory course and ten respite specific skill courses. Courses are self-paced and free of charge. Interested individuals will create a login ID and password to the training system to gain access. Upon completion of the training, trainees will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the availability to place themselves and the respite services they choose to provide on the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Search Locator for caregivers searching and seeking available respite opportunities.
Introductory Course– designed to provide an overview and general information about the Respite Care Providing Training course, the Respite Care Professional Core Competencies, and an overview of how to use and navigate the online training system. Once a learner completes the introductory course, they will automatically be enrolled in the 10 required courses for certification.
Course 101: What is Respite– designed to lay the foundation of respite including defining respite care, discussing the benefits of respite, reasons to become a respite provider, and different respite settings.
Course 102: Disability Basics for Respite Providers– designed to provide general disability and aging-related topics, such as understanding preferred language to be used in interactions that we have with care recipients and family caregivers. This course also briefly touches on adaptive equipment and assistive technology. The concept person and family-centered care is also introduced.
Course 103: Client Care for Respite Providers– discusses the different types of care support that an individual might need during respite care. A focus on person and family-centered care continues in this module through promoting independence in different client care activities, while also taking into consideration the health and abilities of the care recipient.
Course 104: Medication Awareness for Respite Providers– designed to provides a general overview of medication awareness, including the seven rights of medication administration and special situations. A respite provider’s role in terms of medication may differ depending on their training and/or certification, as well as local laws and regulations.
Course 105: Safety Procedures for Respite Providers– explores different emergency situations, ways to be prepared, providing care during the pandemic, and types of incidences to report. This course looks at abuse and neglect laws for both child and adults/older adults in Arkansas, along with information on how to report suspected child and adult maltreatment.
Course 106: Caring for Challenging Moments– designed to provide an introduction to understanding the functions of behavior and explores tools and techniques a respite provider can use to respond quickly and safely while supporting a care recipient’s emotional wellbeing during challenging moments.
Course 107: Health, Wellness, and Respite Activities– examines the importance of meaningful activities and how to plan activities based on the physical health, functional ability, spiritual and social-emotional needs and preferences of family caregivers and care recipients.
Course 108: Professional Ethics and Interpersonal Skills for Respite Providers– designed to discuss the interpersonal skills that are important for respite providers. Topics covered include communication and active listening, cultural preferences and beliefs, understanding personal bias, respecting confidentiality, and maintaining professional boundaries.
Course 109: Meeting the Caregiver and Care Recipient– walks through the steps a respite provider takes when finding and starting a new respite position. This course discusses interviewing with a potential family caregiver, meeting the care recipient, training with the family, and how to build trusting relationships throughout the process.
Course 110: Next Steps in Becoming a Respite Provider– this course turns the focus to the importance of selfcare for the respite provider and seeking additional training. This course also identifies the next steps a respite provider can take to provide respite care.
Additional states participating in the project include:
Montana’s Developmental Educational Assistance Program
New Mexico Caregivers Coalition
Nevada’s Aging and Disability Services Division
New York State Caregiving and Respite Coalition
Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Wisconsin’s Respite Care Association of WI
Illinois Respite Coalition, Inc
South Carolina Respite Coalition