Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Caregiver Support & Respite Program


Moorhead, Minnesota (services available in select counties statewide)

Innovative and Exemplary:

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Caregiver Support & Respite Program has been supporting caregivers for the past 30 years. The program provides respite care, resources to grow their caregiving skills, and the opportunity to connect with others through support groups and education. The program offers both in-person and virtual services which are especially relevant for families living in a rural area where services aren’t always available.

Emergency Care Planning is the newest service and begins with an intake process, followed by the creation of a care team based on individual family needs, including bringing family members together across distances and time zones. Then, in partnership, the family and care team create an individualized plan and disseminate it to all stakeholders. Person- and family-centered services are also supported through a matching process based on the assessed needs and interests of both families and volunteers. Several volunteers have received 10- and 20-year service awards. This program regularly and consistently collects process and outcome data, including health measures. Data are collected at relatively short intervals so that the program can track and promptly respond to caregivers’ and care recipients’ changing needs and family circumstances, as well as document program outcomes and the merit of their work.