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Lifespan Respite Care Program Grant

The South Dakota Department of Human Services, Division of Long Term Services and Supports was awarded a 3 year (09/01/2017 to 08/31/2020) Lifespan Respite Care Program federal grant through the Administration for Community Living.

The purpose of the project is to build a sustainable lifespan respite care program accessible to caregivers regardless of age, disability or chronic condition of the care receiver. Through partnerships with community, state (i.e., Division of Developmental Disabilities, Rehabilitation Services), and federal (i.e., Veteran’s Administration) agencies and organizations, the South Dakota Respite Coalition was formed.

Project outcomes include: increase awareness of the availability of respite care services in South Dakota, increase caregiver knowledge on what lifespan respite is and how to access respite care. The project seeks to improve overall access to respite services for families and other caregivers through:

  • A plan to recruit and train respite providers
  • A respite provider directory
  • Dakota at Home, South Dakota’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC)


Family members sitting together

The Lifespan Respite Care Act of 2006

The Lifespan Respite Care Program was authorized by Congress in 2006 under Title XXIX of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C 201). Lifespan Respite Care programs are coordinated systems of accessible, community-based respite care services for family caregivers of children and adults of all ages with special needs. Such programs reduce duplication of effort and assist in the development of respite care infrastructures at the state and local levels. Lifespan Respite Care programs work to improve the delivery and quality of respite services available through the following objectives:

  1. Expand and enhance respite services in the states;
  2. Improve coordination and dissemination of respite services;
  3. Streamline access to programs;
  4. Fill gaps in service where necessary; and
  5. Improve the overall quality of the respite services currently available.


Administration for Community Living

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) advocates for older adults, people with disabilities, and families and caregivers; funds services and supports provided primarily by states and networks of community-based programs; and invests in training, education, research, and innovation. Since 2009 Administration for Community Living has been working with states to develop and enhance respite care delivery systems and improve the availability and quality of respite care services.

Through Administration for Community Living the eligible agencies selected to receive the Lifespan Respite Care Program grants are those administering the state’s program under the Older Americans Act of 1965 or Title XIX of the Social Security Act (Medicaid), or those designated by a Governor to administer the state’s program under this title. The eligible state agency must be an Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) and work in collaboration with a public or private nonprofit statewide respite care coalition or organization.


Access to Respite Care and Help (ARCH)

The mission of the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center is to assist and promote the development of quality respite and crisis care programs in the United States; to help families locate respite and crisis care services in their communities; and to serve as a strong voice for respite in all forums. The ARCH National Respite Network includes the National Respite Locator, a service to help caregivers and professionals locate respite services in their community, the National Respite Coalition, a service that advocates for preserving and promoting respite in policy and programs at the national, state, and local levels, and the Lifespan Respite Technical Assistance Center which is funded by the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.