A common challenge of respite care is finding someone to take care of a child with special needs. This section provides information on where and how to find and fund respite care. While a variety of respite programs exist, learning about them can be difficult.
There are several types of respite care programs. Some send a caregiver to your home, others are operated from a care center. There are also "exchange" programs, where families trade off taking care of each other's children. Sometimes children can go to a day or overnight camp. The children have a wonderful respite from their parents and the parents benefit, too. Recreation programs may also provide respite.
Whatever the style, most respite programs are managed by organizations such as ARC, Easter Seals and United Cerebral Palsy. You may also discover programs offered through your community church, school and other non-profit groups.
Although many programs rely on public funding or donations, others charge fees often based on the family's income, child’s age and disabilities. If funding is the only thing between you and respite care, ask your local community support groups for guidance.
This downloadable document will give you ideas of respite providers. Each listing indicates the type of service offered and counties served. The Respite and Relief Resource Guide was compiled by the Respite Coalition of Metro Milwaukee. The information contained in this guide is supplied by the service providers and are responsible for the accuracy of the information.
- www.ucpsew.org – United Cerebral Palsy of Southeastern Wisconsin provides Respite opportunities for families of children with special health care needs birth to 21.
- www.cssw.org/programs/respitecare.asp – Children’s Service Society of WI offers a volunteer respite program for families of children with special health care needs.
- www.respitecarewi.org/$spindb.query.providers.rcview – Respite Care Association of WI offers a database for the state of respite providers by county and then specific providers.
- wi.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=WIMA_homepage – Easter Seals of WI offers respite opportunities. These respite events are located in the Wisconsin Dells area.
- wi-se.easterseals.com – Easter Seals of Southeast Wisconsin provides summer programs and after-school programs for children with special health care needs in various counties, including Milwaukee, Waukesha and Kenosha.
- www.respitecarewi.org – This is the respite care homepage.