Respite care

Respite care is temporary care for people with disabilities, allowing their families to take a short break from the routine of care giving. It can also be used if the parent or caregiver needs to attend to a family emergency or even take a much needed vacation. Having access to respite care can make the difference between a stressed family and a rested one.

Respite Opportunities

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.

Download Current Respite Resource Guide



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This page was last updated May 23, 2011 @ 4 pm