Volunteer Respite – Putting the Pieces Together: Implementation from Recruitment to Matching

March 24, 2015

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Many statewide Lifespan Respite grantees and partners are interested in increasing the availability of and connecting family caregivers to volunteer respite providers. Learn how to support the development of evidence-based/evidence-informed statewide initiatives to increase the availability of trained volunteers provided by faith, community and grassroots groups through training and technical assistance, resources and funding. Identify core components to support community partners to be impactful with their volunteer respite efforts. Walk through the process of preparing organizations to meet the needs of caregivers cross age and cross disability from pre-contemplation to implementation and sustainability of volunteer respite programs.

On the programmatic level, we have discussed in previous calls, how many of you are offering respite provider training. To assist Lifespan Respite grantees to successfully provide technical assistance to community-based partners to help them provide volunteer respite, this webinar will focus on issues beyond volunteer training, including the importance of identifying strategies for successful volunteer recruitment and retention; planning for and engaging in ongoing supervision and support of volunteers to ensure their long-term commitment; and learning about the importance of matching volunteers to care recipients and their families.


MaryJo Alimena Caruso, currently with the FRIENDS National Resource Center, has years of experience in volunteer respite programming and evaluation. For more than 15 years, she ran a very successful volunteer respite program in western PA. MaryJo also oversaw Pennsylvania’s statewide TakeFIVE initiative, an outgrowth of PA’s Lifespan Respite Care grant. It was funded by the PA Department of Health in collaboration with the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University to recruit & train faith and community-based organizations to provide volunteer respite for families of children with special health care needs. MaryJo also founded the PA Respite Coalition in 1998 and is still actively engaged with the Alliance for Respite Care in western PA.

 ARCH Volunteer Respite Manual  (contact ARCH for hard copy)

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