ARCH Mission & History
The mission of the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center is to assist and promote the development of quality respite and crisis care programs in the United States; to help families locate respite and crisis care services in their communities; and to serve as a strong voice for respite in all forums.
The ARCH National Respite Network includes the National Respite Locator, a service to help caregivers and professionals locate respite services in their community, the National Respite Coalition, a service that advocates for preserving and promoting respite in policy and programs at the national, state, and local levels, and the Lifespan Respite Technical Assistance and Resource Center which is funded by the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
ARCH stands for Access to Respite Care and Help.
In 1990, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services asked the Chapel Hill Training-Outreach Project, Inc. (now Families and Communities Rising) to help implement a grant from the Children's Bureau in the US Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the grant was to support a group of approximately 40 demonstration projects which were developing systems and methods for providing respite and crisis nursery services for children and their families in communities across the US with a newsletter, a national conference and to help establish an identity for the group. The first ARCH conference was held in the fall of 1991 in Washington DC.
The National Respite Coalition, founded by Jill Kagan and state partners as the policy division of ARCH, was established in 1994. The NRC's principle objective was to help raise awareness of the value of respite and crisis care to policy makers in Washington DC. This work culminated with the passage of the Lifespan Respite Care Act which was signed into law in December of 2006.
When funds for the Lifespan Respite Care Program were appropriated to implement the Act in 2009, a grant was awarded to ARCH in partnership with the Family Caregiver Alliance to administer the Technical Assistance Centers for Caregiver Programs and Lifespan Respite. This joint effort ended in August 2012.
In September 2012, ARCH entered into a new cooperative agreement with the US Administration for Community Living to form a new Lifespan Respite Technical Assistance and Resource Center (TARC) to provide training and technical assistance to Lifespan Respite grantees and their partners. Lifespan Respite grantees are charged with establishing or enhancing statewide coordinated respite care systems in their respective states, providing planned and emergency respite services, recruiting and training respite workers and volunteers. and providing information and assistance to family caregivers to help them pay for and access respite care services. Continuation funding was awarded by ACL to ARCH in 2015 and 2020. ARCH continues as a program of Families and Communities Rising based in Durham, NC.
What does ARCH do?
The ARCH National Respite Network is the only national support and advocacy organization dedicated solely to promoting the development of quality respite programs.
Helps Family Caregivers:
The National Respite Locator Service helps family caregivers find respite programs in their communities. ARCH also connects caregivers to their State Respite Coalition for assistance, answers questions on how to get paid as a family caregiver, and offers caregiver resources to help them better understand what respite is, how to use, find it and pay for it.
Provides Training and Technical Assistance:
The Training and Technical Assistance Division provides support to State Respite Coalitions, service providers and families through consultation, training, evaluation, and research. The Lifespan Respite Technical Assistance and Resource Center (TARC), funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living, supports State Lifespan Respite grantees and their partners in developing statewide respite systems and in serving caregivers of persons of all ages and conditions.
ARCH provides training through webinars, podcasts, learning collaboratives, State Lifespan Respite Summits, an annual National Lifespan Respite Conference and a Lifespan Respite Grantee and Partner Learning Symposium. Technical assistance is provided through email and phone consultation and through the development of timely products including fact sheets, reports, manuals and guidebooks and monthly newsletters.
Advocates for Respite through Public Policy:
The National Respite Coalition helps states and local communities to understand policy, educate policy makers, and build strong advocacy coalitions. It provides information and teaching tools to respite advocates throughout the country. The National Respite Coalition has convened a group of national and state organizations, the Lifespan Respite Task Force, dedicated to the support of federal lifespan respite legislation. The NRC is completely dependent on Membership fees and private donations.
Advances Innovative and Exemplary Respite Services:
ARCH seeks out and identifies Innovative and Exemplary respite service models worthy of recognition, helps promote them, advances opportunities for replication, and maintains a searchable online data base of innovative and exemplary respite services across the country.
Promotes Research to Develop an Evidence-base for Respite:
In 2015, ARCH convened the first Expert Panel on Respite Research with support from the Administration for Community Living. The prestigious panel released its final report, A Research Agenda for Respite Care: Deliberations of an Expert Panel of Researchers, Advocates and Funders, that includes recommendations for increasing and improving research focused on family caregiver, care recipient, family and societal outcomes that result from respite. ARCH is advancing this agenda through a recently formed Respite Research Consortium and the prestigious Committee for Advancement of Respite Research.
Works to Build the Respite Provider Workforce:
ARCH and the National Academy for State Health Policy, in collaboration with the Respite Care Association of Wisconsin, are engaged in piloting a National Respite Provider Recruitment, Training and Retention initiative.
Leads on Respite Evaluation and Performance Measurement:
Both planned and crisis respite programs must be able to clearly and compellingly demonstrate that their efforts are achieving worthy outcomes related to the improvement of quality of life, and outcomes related to saving tax-payer dollars on more costly interventions such as foster care, nursing homes, or other institutional care. Respite programs across the United States field-tested tools for measuring program outcomes and are available to the public in the ARCH guide, Evaluating and Reporting Outcomes: a Guide for Respite and Crisis Care Program Managers.
In addition, the Lifespan Respite Technical Assistance and Resource Center has developed a Performance Measurement Guide for Lifespan Respite grantees and partners, but it may be helpful to all who provide respite.
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