Events and Membership 

The ARCH Mission

The Mission of the ARCH National Respite Coalition is to secure quality, accessible, planned and crisis respite services for all families and caregivers in need of such services in order to strengthen and stabilize families, and enhance child and adult safety. The Coalition works to achieve these goals by preserving and promoting respite in policy and programs at the national, state, and local levels.

When you join the ARCH National Respite Network you are automatically a member of the National Respite Coalition, the Policy Division of the ARCH National Respite Network, and can receive the latest updates on Congressional legislative activity important to respite and the families you serve, as well as information from the states about program implementation. As a member, you are entitled to additional benefits as well. The National Respite Network is a program of the Chapel Hill Training-Outreach Project.

The Lifespan Respite Task Force

The Lifespan Respite Task Force is a coalition of over 100 national and state organizations. The Task Force serves as a working group of the National Respite Coalition to develop and promote a national respite policy. The Task Force was a major force in passing the Lifespan Respite Act of 2006 and will continue to serve as we seek to sustain funding for the program.


  • Universal availability of respite for all who seek it;
  • Widespread acceptance that it is right to ask for and receive help;
  • Heightened awareness of caregiver needs;
  • Easy access to an array of affordable respite services;
  • Flexibility to meet diverse needs; and,
  • Systems that meet the comprehensive needs of caregivers to locate, train, and pay for respite.

Working Definition:

Respite care, which includes crisis care, provides temporary relief for caregivers from the ongoing responsibility of caring for an individual of any age with special needs, or who may be at risk of abuse or neglect.

Why is Respite so Important:

Respite is often the most frequently requested and needed family support service. Respite is first and foremost a preventive strategy that strengthens families, protects family health and well being, and allows individuals to remain in their own home. Respite has been shown to prevent or delay more costly out-of-home placements, reduce the risk of abuse or neglect, and to help keep all family members safe and stable.

Principles of a Quality Respite Care Program:

1) Respite is available to all families and caregivers. Respite should be available to any caregiver providing ongoing care for individuals of any age with any physical or mental disability, chronic or terminal illness, or other special need, or at risk of abuse or neglect, regardless of family income, race, gender or situation.

2) Respite is accessible. Respite should be easily accessible by caregivers when, how, and where it is needed.

3) Respite is affordable. Sufficient resources should be available to ensure that all caregivers have access to high quality respite services.

4) Planned and emergency respite is available. Respite is also an important component of a continuum of comprehensive family support services available to caregivers not only on a planned basis, but also in emergency situations.

5) Families have an array of options and can choose respite services that meet their unique needs. A wide array of respite options, including in-home and out-of-home, and a diverse pool of providers that meet families’ needs should be available. Culturally competent providers should be available to all families. Caregivers should be free to choose their respite providers.

6) Respite systems address capacity issues and ensure enough providers are available. The current supply of individuals available to provide respite is inadequate in many communities, especially respite for individuals with mental illness or severe medical conditions, or in some rural and urban areas.

7) Respite systems ensure caregivers are aware of respite and know how to access respite. Adequate outreach and support services should be made available to increase caregiver awareness about available respite options and community resources.

8) Respite systems empower caregivers to select, hire and train competent providers. A mechanism should be in place to support and assist caregivers in the process of selecting providers to meet their individual needs.

9) Respite systems are made up of agencies and individuals committed to addressing gaps and barriers in services. Respite systems should include families, stakeholders, agencies and community-based partners.

10) Respite is high quality. All available and accessible respite options should be of high quality and ensure the safety of the individual being cared for. Services are evaluated and feedback from families drives program improvements.

ARCH is a program of 

Families and Communities Rising, 4220 NC Hwy 55, Suite 330, Durham, NC 27713

Copyright 2009 - 2021 by ARCH and FCR

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