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Under the Lifespan Respite Care Program, the Administration for Community Living awarded funds to the Center for Health Policy Development, National Academy for State Health Policy to complement the work of the Lifespan Respite Technical Assistance and Resource Center at ARCH. The purpose of the award is to address respite access, workforce issues, and expansion of natural supports that emerge as recommendations from the RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council's National Family Caregiving Strategy.

Improving access to respite and addressing workforce issues are expected to be a central theme of the Council's proposed strategy. In anticipation of the Council's recommendations, ARCH is partnering with NASHP to advance workforce development by developing, testing, and scaling a respite workforce recruitment, training, and retention program to better meet the needs of culturally and geographically diverse families, with particular attention to the impact of COVID-19 on the workforce. Joining this effort as a subcontractor is the Respite Care Association of Wisconsin. The initiative will be evaluated by Dr. Kim Whitmore at Marquette University, and Ujima Unlimited.

Expert Work Group on Core Competencies

ARCH  convened an Expert Workgroup that participated in an extensive review of existing core competencies and evidence-based frameworks developed by national and state organizations, governmental entities, and universities in training curriculum for direct support professionals and respite providers. The workgroup then helped to identify core competencies specific for respite providers. These core competencies will be used to enhance an existing respite provider training curriculum that will be field tested it in up to 12 states. The effort will be evaluated, and a replication toolkit developed. 

Respite Provider Core Competencies and Course Descriptions

Respite Provider Core Competencies: These Respite Care Professional Core Competencies, developed in consultation with the Expert Work Group and submitted for public comments, are meant to serve as a baseline for entry-level respite care professionals, to encourage consistent and high quality national training approaches for respite providers serving all ages and conditions, and contribute to the larger goal of addressing the respite provider shortage. 

An online training for entry-level respite providers has been enhanced to meet these nationally recognized core competencies. Each of the ten courses meets at least one competency.  Read the Course Descriptions.

Learn more about the training and state specific modules. 

Respite Provider Training and Recruitment Pilot 

The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center and the Respite Care Association of Wisconsin, in collaboration with the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) are pleased to announce the selection of sites for the pilot project to field test a competency-based and enhanced entry-level respite provider training curriculum and recruitment campaign. The purpose of the initiative is to develop, test and scale a respite workforce recruitment, training and retention program to better meet the respite needs of families caring for individuals of any age or condition, particularly in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workforce.

Overall Project Outcomes

Outcome 1: Establish a standard respite care training that aligns with the Core Competencies for Respite Care Professionals
Outcome 2: Establish a strategy for recruiting respite care providers
Outcome 3: Improve individual knowledge and confidence in providing respite care among training participants
Outcome 4: Increase the number of trained respite care providers
Outcome 5: Increase the number of people who join the respite care registry (if applicable)
Outcome 6: Increase the number of people who indicate intent to provide respite care
Outcome 7: Increase the number of people who are actively providing respite care (long-term)

The following sites were selected for their experience, capacity and readiness to participate in the 12-month pilot.

Pilot Sites MAP