Summary of Lifespan Respite Care Program (modifications as a result of provisions in H.R. 3913 and H.R. 1969 in italics):
Use of Funds:
The Lifespan Respite Program law authorizes competitive grants to eligible state agencies in collaboration with a public or private non-profit state respite coalition or organization to make quality respite available and accessible to family caregivers regardless of age or disability. Aging and Disability Resource Centers must be involved as collaborators as well. The law allows grantees to identify, coordinate and build on federal, state and local respite resources and funding streams, and would help support, expand and streamline planned and emergency respite, provider recruitment and training, and caregiver training. Grantees will have the option of using funds for training programs for family caregivers in making informed decisions about respite services; for other services essential to the provision of respite; and for training and education for new caregivers.
What is a Lifespan Respite Program?
A lifespan respite program provides a coordinated system of accessible, community-based respite care services for family caregivers of children and adults with special needs.
Lead Agency Eligibility
Funds are provided on a competitive grant basis to specified state agencies or an agency appointed by the Governor. The state lead entity must involve an Aging and Disability Resource Center and work in collaboration with a public or private nonprofit statewide respite coalition or organization. A memorandum of agreement is required in the application. Priority would be given to applicants who show the greatest likelihood of implementing or enhancing lifespan respite care statewide.
Who Can Access Lifespan Respite Programs?
Caregivers who are family members, foster parents, or other adults providing unpaid (clarified in report language) care for an adult or child with a special need may access these programs. Adult with special need is defined broadly as a person 18 years of age or older who requires care or supervision to meet the person's basic needs, to prevent physical self-injury or injury to others,or to avoid placement in an institutional facility. (H.R. 1969 adds family caregivers of veterans who are receiving compensation under the VA Caregiver Support Program). A child with a special need is a person less than 18 years of age who requires care or supervision beyond that required of children generally to meet the child's basic needs or prevent physical self-injury or injury to others.
The Governor submits application on behalf of the State Agency that administers the Older American's Act, the State's Medicaid program, or another agency designated by the Governor.
Secretary of Health and Human Services is required to work in cooperation with the National Family Caregiver Support Program Officer of the Administration on Aging and other respite care programs within the Department to ensure coordination of respite for family caregivers. (HR 1969 adds involvement of interagency working group on policies relating to caregivers of veterans to be established under the new Military and Veterans Caregiver Services porgram authorized by this legislation).
$15 m for each of fiscal years 2016-2020. (Both HR 3913 and HR 1969 include these authorization levels).
National Resource Center:
Establishes National Resource Center on Lifespan Respite Care
Data Collection and Reporting (added by HR 3913)
Each eligible State agency awarded a Lifespan Respite grant will be required to collect, maintain, and report such data to enable the Secretary to 1) to monitor State administration of programs and activities ; and 2) to evaluate, and to compare effectiveness on a State-by-State basis, of Lifespan Respite grant programs and activities.
Jill Kagan, MPH