COVID-19 Case Study: Lifespan Respite Washington Respite Voucher Program

Lifespan Respite Washington (LRW) offers caregiver support through vouchers or mini grants for unpaid caregivers supporting a family member, friend, or neighbor who has a special need or condition. Recognizing the important relationship between a caregiver and care recipient, the program offers short-term breaks. Vouchers are provided across the lifespan for caregivers of older adults, those with dementia, and children and adults with disabilities.

PAVE (Partnerships for Action, Voices for Empowerment) is the host agency responsible, in partnership with the state’s Aging and Long Term Support Administration (ALTSA) within the Department of Social and Health Services, for providing lifespan respite vouchers for families in Washington.

Washington was impacted early in the pandemic with the LRW Voucher Program office closing in mid-March and the Governor implementing a “stay at home” order March 23, 2020. At the same time, a primary program staff resigned. Initial efforts focused on stabilizing the voucher program, continuing to process vouchers, and ensuring that state and local public health guidance was followed.

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