Lifespan Respite
Technical Assistance Center

Sustainability Learning Collaborative

Member List, click here

Invitation to Join Learning Collaborative with Expectations for Participation, click here.

Selected Sustainability Resources, click here


February 8, 2018

On this call, Melissa Terry and Cheryl Smith from the Alabama Lifespan Respite Resource Network continued the conversation begun during the last call by talking about their experiences and challenges related to planning for sustainability, and how their planning efforts have been realized over time.

Growing a State Respite Program from the Ground Up!

Presentation of Melissa Terry and Cheryl Smith from Alabama Lifespan Respite

In 1996, United Cerebral Palsy of Huntsville realized there were limited respite options for Alabama caregivers and successfully pursued a 3-year grant in 2000 to address the availability and accessibility of respite in our state. UCP staff pulled together a 36-person task force comprised of stakeholders across multiple state agencies, caregivers and other key stakeholders to create a statewide strategic plan. Alabama Respite was born out of this task force and is now legislatively mandated as the main coordination point for all respite initiatives in Alabama. Through relationship building and advocacy, Alabama Respite has obtained annual funding in the state budget and contracts with several state agencies. Presenters will discuss how Alabama Respite has built relationships to assure sustained funding and growth in the program in a way that other programs can replicate.

December 11, 2017

Focus on top burning issues and markers of sustainability identified at in-person meeting in Huntsville.

Top issues discussed: Funding and Stakeholders/Coalitions  

At the meeting in Huntsville in October, 2017, the group identified burning issues. During this call, the learning collaborative explored the top two topics from this burning issues list –– Funding and Stakeholders/Coalitions and Planning Groups.  

Kathy Mayfield Smith with the SC Respite Coalition shared SC’s experiences in leveraging resources –– how they accomplished this in South Carolina, who was involved, and how they were involved.  She spokne about how their coalition built an infrastructure that allowed them to quickly capitalize on an extraordinary funding opportunity that added 2.4 million dollars in recurring funding for respite vouchers, and $100,000 for respite administration. Kathy stressed the need for coalitions to have a goal in mind, plan and prepare for that goal, and look for new opportunities to reach it. She pointed out the importance of knowing who is in your state legislature, and knowing about them––their interests and personal experience related to respite. She also spoke about the importance coalition members playing active roles––such as supporting a network of advocates and consumers to effectively educate others about the importance of respite. 

Doris Green, with the New York State Caregiving and Respite Coalition and Jean Sherman with the Florida Lifespan Respite Alliance also presented case studies about current sustainability planning efforts in their respective states, including progress and challenges. 

October 11, 2017

Collaborative met in person at the Lifespan Respite grantee and partner Learning Symposium in Huntsville, AL, and brainstormed issues and challenges.

June 8, 2017 

Webinar: Background on Using the Finance Project Sustainability Tools. Presented by Learning Collaborative Leaders

State Case Study Presentations

  • NEBRASKA, Sharon Johnson, Nebraska Lifespan Respite Network
  • PENNSYLVANIA, MaryJo Alimena Caruso, Pennsylvania Respite Coalition
  • MASSACHUSETTS, Amy Nazaire, MA Lifespan Respite Coalition

Respite Learning Collaborative_6.8.17_0 on Vimeo.

April 21, 2017 - Introductory Call of the Collaborative

Lifespan Respite

Technical Assistance Center

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center

4016 Oxford Street

Annandale, VA 22003

(703) 256-2084

This project is supported, in part by grant number 90LT0002, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.


The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center is a division of the Chapel Hill Training-Outreach Project, Inc. | 800 Eastowne Drive, Chapel Hill, NC, 27514 |



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