Innovative and Exemplary Respite Services  


Statement of Purpose


Podcast Series: Conversations in Caregiving: Exploring Respite Care Innovations. Select innovative and exemplary respite services are featured in compelling and informative interviews.


Read more about the selection process below and about recognized services here:


Selection Process

The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center seeks exemplary and innovative respite services from across the U.S. and Canada.  

We wish to learn more about respite services that are evidence-based or evidence informed, that appear promising, or that are trying new service models. Further, they need to have some preliminary data or plan to collect data that demonstrate benefits to caregivers, care recipients, and/or family systems. 

We are looking for respite services that address some challenging aspect of respite care delivery, such as reaching rural or military family caregivers, individuals with mental health and/or behavioral issues, grandparent or relative caregivers, or adults with disabilities and chronic conditions, for example.

Given the ongoing pandemic, we also welcome applications from programs that may have creatively redefined their respite services to meet family caregivers' current and evolving needs for support and social connections, or modified their respite services, eligibility, or location to enhance respite service flexibility and access in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. 

ARCH is also seeking respite services that use exemplary or innovative approaches to enhancing access to respite or improving quality of services and address questions, such as: 

  • Does the respite service now or pre-pandemic provide inclusive activities in the community that are enjoyable and meaningful for the care recipient and others?

  • Does the respite service collect caregiver/care recipient/family outcome data that describe improved well-being and ability to remain at home (beyond just service satisfaction)?

  • Does the respite service help family caregivers plan to make the most of their respite time by engaging in activities most meaningful to them?

  • Does the respite service attract and retain highly qualified respite providers or volunteers? 

  • Was the respite service provider able to adapt to challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that the respite provided remained meaningful to the family caregiver, the care recipeint and the family?  Were the changes successful enough to make them permanent?

These questions are meant only to suggest examples of what might be considered exemplary or innovative and are not meant to be limiting descriptors. We welcome creativity, especially in these challenging times! 

The services selected by ARCH for recognition may demonstrate practices that are exemplary, innovative or both. Services may also be recognized as Rising Stars. Rising Stars have demonstrated a person and family-centered approach, but have not yet met all criteria for Innovative or Exemplary practice.

Please read additional definitions of respite and special needs. 


The CALL FOR APPLICATIONS IS NOW CLOSED.  Check back often for 2023 Call for Applications.

How to Apply

  • Complete the short pre-application checklist to see if your respite service qualifies.  You must be able to respond "YES" to each question to qualify. Programs that cannot answer yes to all three Pre-Application Screening questions cannot be considered for a full review.

  • Complete the application online.  We strongly encourage you to preview the questions in advance and read the instructions before attempting to complete the online application. 

An information session was held on Monday, February 28 to review the application and selection process, and to answer questions.  View the Recorded Information Session and download the presentation slides.  



How will you benefit?

We invite you to nominate your service if you believe it is strong overall, or if it has areas of strength that you wish to share with others. If selected, your services will be recognized as a potential model for replication and become part of a national network of respite services committed to providing person and family-centered respite services.  Recognized services will receive: 

  • National recognition for outstanding work, including publicity through ARCH’s website, publications, and social media outlets;

  • A letter of support from ARCH, upon request;

  • An official Innovative and/or Exemplary Respite Services logo for use on website and other materials; and

  • A certificate recognizing this accomplishment.

In 2022, small honorariums were presented to respite services recognized as both Innovative AND Exemplary, and they were recognized at the National Lifespan Respite Conference.  Read about the respite services recognized in 2019, in 2020, and in 2021.

Once a service has been recognized as Innovative, Exemplary or both, or as a Rising Star, the designation is valid for three years. At the end of this time period, ARCH will request updated information from recognized services on the status of the services(s), including any new developments or major changes, and to assess the program's capacity to continue to ensure program quality, innovation, and sustainability. There is no need for a service recognized in a prior year to complete another application

Exemplary Logo


How does ARCH use the information?

The application was designed to help us identify real life “best practice” respite care services. We plan to use the information   we gather:

  • to encourage innovation and quality in respite services nationwide;

  • to promote person and family-centered services that are desired by family caregivers and the persons in their care;

  • in a national on-line data base of exemplary respite services to share with the media, funders, government agencies, individuals, organizations and others searching for model services to replicate;

  • to inform national training and technical assistance;
  • in publications about respite care; and

  • to help advocate for new respite services, enhance existing services, and move toward evidence-based practices.

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If you need more information about nominating your respite services, or assistance in completing the application, please contact: Susan Janko Summers, ARCH Consultant, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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