2021 Innovative and Exempary

The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center is proud to announce respite services selected as Innovative and Exemplary for 2021. 

Press Release 

Statement of Purpose

Selection Criteria for Innovative, Exemplary and Rising Star Respite Services


Services Recognized by  ARCH in 2021

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Innovative and Exemplary Respite Services


Caregiver Relief Program


The ALS Association Saint Louis Regional Chapter initiated their Caregiver Relief Program 11 years ago. The ALS Association was formed to support persons with ALS so they could remain in their homes throughout the disease process and through the end of their lives. A second purpose of the ALS Association is to support caregivers to remain emotionally and physically healthy and to keep their families intact. Operating in three locations and using case managers from multiple disciplines –– including social work, counseling, occupational therapy and nutrition –– to support patient and caregiver choice, the Caregiver Relief Program links families with screened and trained Gold Star respite programs. Caregivers may also participate in support groups to help address “anticipatory grief” and bereavement. Guided by an evaluation plan, the Caregiver Relief Program regularly reviews services with families to discern whether services fit their needs, and whether families view the services as helpful in reducing stress and improving quality of life. Yearly audits of finances, and demographic and outcome data shared in an annual report, as well as diversified funding and a fully engaged board, help to ensure this program remains strong going forward. You may learn more about the ALS Association Saint Louis Regional Chapter’s Caregiver Relief Program through their website.

 Crisis Nursery

Crisis Nursery


The Crisis Nursery in Urbana, Illinois has provided emergency crisis respite care to children birth to six-years-of-age for 37 years. Based on best practice research and observed need, the Crisis Nursery began offering planned respite to further support family caregivers. The Crisis Nursery works to reduce caregiver stress and risk of child maltreatment, and to improve parenting skills directly related to parent-directed goals. Using a case management model and wrap around services, respite is one of a number of supports offered to parents in addition to home visits, parent education and parent support groups. To reach diverse populations, the Crisis Nursery actively hires employees with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and holds quarterly outreach events to encourage families, community members and agencies to learn about the program at a time when crises are not occurring. Client materials are available in English, Spanish, French and Mandarin, and the program’s website is accessible in any language. The Crisis Nursery board and leadership team engage in an ongoing strategic planning process, and routine data-based program monitoring. These efforts, along with diversified funding and ongoing development and fundraising help to strengthen fidelity to the mission, and ensure sustainability into the future. To learn more about the Crisis Nursery, you may visit their website


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The Home Away from Home Respite Center at SUNY Geneseo was created five years ago to address an identified gap in community services for aging populations with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The Home Away from Home Respite program’s goals are to meet the needs of caregivers by giving them time to care for themselves, and by reducing social isolation while their loved ones receive excellent care. After a comprehensive intake process and interview that includes caregiver-selected goals and guidance in selecting person-centered activities, care recipients attend two, four-hour sessions each week at a local interfaith center while their caregivers receive eight hours of respite each week. Respite is provided primarily by trained college student interns and volunteers, providing social contacts that are intergenerational and ethnically, socially, and culturally diverse. During a typical semester, 20 students dedicated about 1,000 hours of service in work that is life changing for many. Some students select professional paths in related disciplines and several students have been honored with academic scholarships based upon their volunteer experience. This data-based program regularly measures care recipient and caregiver needs, reviews daily case notes, inventories services, documents daily activities for fidelity to the model, documents numbers served and hours of service provided, and collects satisfaction and outcome data. SUNY Geneseo’s support for program staff, and grants and donations from faith-based organization and community partners ensure the program’s sustainability. To learn more about the Home Away from Home Respite Center, please visit their website.

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Lutheran Services in Iowa Respite Care


Lutheran Services in Iowa Respite Care has offered respite to caregivers of children with disabilities and mental and emotional conditions for 19 years. Based on both research and caregiver preferences, one respite care service the program offers is a 48-hour weekend, providing caregivers with extended time for self-care. The program also offers individualized respite options in one of three settings –– the primary caregiver’s home, the respite provider’s home, or the community. The Respite Care program emphasizes the use of family-selected care providers who offer informal supports, such as neighbors, grandparents and other kinship caregivers, especially in rural parts of the state where provider availability is scarce. A consumer-directed, family-centered process of matching caregivers, care receivers, and care providers begins with a “meet and greet.” Lutheran Services in Iowa further works to hire staff who are bilingual and staff who are supportive of LGBTQ youth, for example, to meet family preferences and needs. The Respite Care program focuses on supporting care recipient participation in a wide range of activities –– school events, neighborhood block parties, camping trips, or farm life, for example. Staff training is comprehensive, supportive and especially designed to support staff in working with children with behavioral and mental health challenges. This support contributes to the low staff turnover of less than 5% annually. To learn more about Lutheran Services in Iowa Respite Care services, please visit their website.


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Rising Star Respite Service

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Tennessee Respite Coalition


The Tennessee Respite Coalition Respite Voucher Program has served caregivers and their families for 17 years, typically providing care for 700 caregivers and their loved ones of any age or disability conditions each year. Tennessee’s Respite Voucher Program is recognized by ARCH as a Rising Star Respite Service in 2021 because of the adaptations they made to continue providing services to caregivers and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Early on during the pandemic, the Respite Voucher Program assessed caregiver needs using a client survey, based upon the COVID Survey study conducted at the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing, to assess what caregivers needed to feel supported. The program also collected qualitative data from caregivers during Zoom calls. Guided by the data they collected, the program responded to caregivers’ needs by providing care packages and mini-grants for caregiver-selected items, such as personal protective equipment, tablets enabling internet access to online support groups, home exercise equipment, and movie or magazine subscriptions. Expanding ideas of traditional respite services, the Tennessee Respite Voucher Program provided respite in innovative ways that allowed for safe social distancing, but maintained caregiver-provider contact in ways that kept caregivers socially connected during times of increased stress and isolation. To learn more about the Tennessee Respite Coalition Respite Voucher Program, please visit their website