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Free Online Training Available for Respite Providers


Program helps caregivers find qualified care providers

Providing temporary, short-term respite care for individuals of any age with a disability or special need can be a real lifeline for full-time caregivers. But finding qualified respite care providers can be an obstacle. To help, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition have set up a free, online respite worker certification program.

Through a multi-state pilot project, DHS and the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition have collaborated with eight other states to develop this free program. It is designed for anyone interested in providing respite care. The program teaches participants fundamental, practical respite skills so they can safely and confidently support those who need their help.

“Accessing skilled temporary respite services is a critical need for our state’s caregivers,” said Martina Smith, Director of the Division of Provider Services and Quality Assurance at DHS. “This project allows us to provide practical, flexible, and free training to people interested in supporting caregivers. This online training allows people to develop the skills needed to provide safe, reliable care for those who need help, giving their normal caregivers an opportunity to care for themselves as well.”

The course contains one introductory module and ten modules on specific respite skills. The modules teach skills such as safety procedures, client care, disability basics, medication awareness, professional ethics, and interpersonal skills. After completing all the modules, the respite provider will get a certificate of completion. The respite provider then can ask to be added to the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Registry as an “Independent Provider.” This allows caregivers across the state to search for potential respite workers and services. To find the registry, visit

To learn more about the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Voucher Program and sign up for the training, visit People also can call toll-free 1-866-801-3435 or email for more information.

For more information about programs offered through DHS visit

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