Types of Respite

Respite can take place in the home or outside of the home. There are a variety of respite options available. When choosing respite, families need to consider which option would be best for their family. The following are some brief descriptions to help family caregivers choose the most appropriate type of respite for their needs:

Respite In the Home

Children and people with disabilities may feel more comfortable in their own home. Parents are often glad their child does not have to leave the home. The home is already set up with special, personal equipment. It already meets the personal needs of the child. Friends and siblings are usually nearby.

  • Informal Respite
    Family caregivers get a break by asking someone to stay with the child. You can ask a friend, neighbor, volunteer, or hire your own respite provider.
  • Homemaker Personal Care
    A formal program where families receive respite services by an agency. Providers are formally trained in skilled care and are employed by the agency.
  • Family-Selected Respite (also known as Consumer-Directed Respite)
    This option is similar to informal respite. The difference is that the family finds, hires, trains and manages their own providers. Often, the provider is paid through a voucher or through another formal payment system. Some families train their own providers. Other families may choose for their providers to be trained by other respite programs.


“When my daughter is at home with a respite provider, I can relax and take a walk with a friend.”

Respite Out of Home

Children, young adults and adults will socialize with people their own age if they get out of their home. They often enjoy activities together. Transportation to and from the activity may need to be planned. Also, make a plan for special equipment if needed. Any of the following options can be used as respite:

“My husband and I have a quiet dinner and see a movie. We enjoy our time away knowing our son is having fun with people we trust.”



  • After school programs
  • Day care centers
  • Short-term residential care
  • Day camps / Weekend camps
  • Recreation and social programs
  • Faith-based activities
  • Community and respite events
  • Assisted job programs
  • Workshops
  • Cooperative programs, where families share time

Learn more about respite using the navigation below:

Questions?  Please contact Celia Schloemer, UC UCEDD Family Support Coordinator, at Celia.Schloemer@cchmc.org or 513-636-4723