The call for 2020 Innovative and Exemplary Respite Services will be open soon. Check back often!

Please read about the 2019 Innovative and Exemplary Respite Services that were selected. 

Innovative and Exemplary Respite Services  

The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center is seeking exemplary and innovative respite care programs and services* from across the nation. 

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

 For purposes of this application, respite care is defined as "planned or emergency care provided to a child or adult with special needs in order to provide temporary relief to family caregivers who are caring for that child or adult."  

We are also 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.


At this time, we are seeking innovative or exemplary practices for provision of direct respite services only, NOT for Lifespan Respite initiatives, which are defined as “'coordinated systems of community-based respite for family caregivers of children or adults regardless of special need," or related activities.

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

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

  • Does the respite service provide inclusive activities in the community that are enjoyable or 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?

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!


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 model for replication and highlighted on the ARCH website and in ARCH publications.

How will ARCH use the information?

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

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

  • 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.


Child or Adult with Special Needs: For purposes of this application, a child or adult with special needs is defined broadly to include a child or adult with a disability or chronic illness as well as a child or adult who may not have a disability or condition-specific diagnosis, but who has functional limitations, who may be at risk of abuse or neglect, homelessness, or who is otherwise vulnerable.

How to Apply:

  1. Complete the short pre-application checklist to see if your respite service qualifies.

  2. Complete the application online (coming soon!).  We strongly encourage you to read the instructions before attempting to complete the online application. 

  3. You may also submit hard copy of the application.  If you are completing a hard copy of this application, you may send the completed form back electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., fax it to ARCH at 703-256-0541, or mail it to ARCH at 4016 Oxford Street, Annandale, VA 22003.                       








Thank you for completing this application and your willingness to share information about your respite services. You will hear back from ARCH within 2-3 weeks of the receipt of your application. 


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.

*In the respite care field, the terms “program” and "service" are often used interchangeably or inconsistently. "Program" more commonly infers a comprehensive approach to family caregiver support that might include a respite component. For purposes of this application, we will use the term respite "services" rather than respite "program" to differentiate it from more comprehensive family support or family caregiver programs with multiple components. The respite service you nominate may be part of a comprehensive family caregiver or family support "program" or a stand-alone respite service.

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