Pennsylvania Lifespan Respite Care Act Program Grant

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) was awarded the Lifespan Respite Care Grant from the US Administration on Aging in 2010 to establish a statewide lifespan respite system to improve coordination and access to respite services across the state.

The grant also allowed the state to establish a statewide Lifespan Respite Care Advisory Council to lead, support and monitor the development of a lifespan respite care system for Pennsylvania.

The Department of Aging is working with the Departments of Public Welfare and Health, the Link to Aging and Disability Resources and the Pennsylvania Lifespan Respite Coalition on the Lifespan Respite Program grant. The goal of the grant is to:

1) To improve statewide coordination of respite services;

2) To improve access to respite services for caregivers; and

3) To increase awareness of respite needs and the availability of respite services.

Click here if you are looking for a respite provider. The link will take you to the ARCH National Respite Locator Website.


Existing Respite Services and Methods for Coordinating Care:

The PA Department of Aging operates the Pennsylvania and National Caregiver Support Programs, designed to reduce caregiver burden to primary caregivers of an older, functionally dependent adult, a person of any age with dementia, a relative caring for children under the age of 18 or a relative caring for an individual with a disability ages 19-59.

For more information, click here.


Within the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), respite is available, serving people with intellectual disabilities when it is identified as a need on an individual service plan.

The Bureau of Autism Services makes respite funds and other family support funds available on a yearly application basis.

In the Office of Mental health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), respite is available to a limited number of families with children through the Bureau of Children's Behavior Health Services. (Click Here

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning administers the Infant, Toddler and Families Medicaid Waiver for young children with disabilities. Respite is an available service to families eligible for the waiver.

The Office of Children, Youth and Families administers the state's Childline abuse phone number (1-800-932-0313) and crisis hotlines and also works with local agencies offering respite support to families with foster children. (Click Here

Special Kids Network System of Care works to help families attempting to access resources and services for their children with special health care needs. The Special Kids Network has a toll free helpline and a public website ( that provides information and referrals to local respite providers and resources to parents of children and youth with special needs.

Temple University's Time Out Respite Program is an important resource for families caring for frail elderly relatives in the Philadelphia area. Time Out trains and matches college students with the frail elderly to provide companionship and supervision and assistance with activities of daily living.

The CareBreak Respite Program serves Western Pennsylvania by carefully matching screened and trained volunteers with families caring for a child up to the age of 16 who is diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy, or related neurological and developmental disabilities.

Lifespan Respite Advisory Council

The Lifespan Respite Advisory Council was appointed by the Secretary of Aging, in 2010, to lead, support and monitor the development of a lifespan respite care system for Pennsylvania.

Please contact the Department of Aging, at (717) 705-8887 for more information about the federal grant and future meeting dates.