The North Carolina Respite Care Coalition (NCRCC) began in 1996

when a small group of volunteers, most of whom were professionals dealing with respite issues, met to develop a plan to promote awareness of the respite needs of North Carolina caregivers.

They began by holding meetings, sponsoring conferences, and networking in order to provide information, advocacy, and education. Currently, the NCRCC is under the direction of a volunteer Board of Directors, comprised of members elected by each of the Coalition’s three regional chapters (the western counties, the central area from Charlotte to Raleigh, and the eastern counties, including the Outer Banks).

Since its inception, the NCRCC has hosted three conferences.

  • The first, in 2007, was a respite summit for funding. State representatives, members of the National Respite Coalition, and others involved in the legislative process seeking funding for respite attended.
  • Other conferences, in 2008 and 2010, were notable for giving relief to caregivers with massages and other pampering.
  • The conferences also provided speakers with information on model respite programs that could be replicated and held silent auctions to raise money for respite for caregivers with no other way to receive it.

The NCRCC’s members are particularly active nationally. The NCRCC participates in the National Respite Conference each year. Its members have presented workshops, particularly on the need for building state coalitions to serve as statewide voices for caregiver, hosted representatives from foreign countries, and engaged in networking with members from other state coalitions.

In 2008, the Federal Lifespan Respite Grant awarded money for the NCRCC to partner with the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services (NC DAAS) in an effort to expand and enhance respite. Through this grant, the NCRCC accomplished several goals. It produced and distributed a volunteer respite training manual, promoted the “Just One More” initiative to add or enhance a respite program in each NC county, and compiled information about the NC respite programs available. Members of the NCRCC serve on the Lifespan Respite Project State Advisory Team.

“The twins, their little brother, their mother and I want to thank you…[One twin] has a 1 to 2 minute attention span, and [the other] has a 30-second attention span. The NCRCC has already made a huge positive difference…..
Professional working with a caregiver

 

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Since the grant was awarded, the NCRCC has worked to highlight the issue of cultural diversity that can result in barriers to respite.

It presented programs at regional meetings that discussed the needs of different cultural groups throughout North Carolina. The speakers presented information about the needs of the Native American, Latino, and LGBT populations. It also collaborated with one region on plans for a resource fair for the underserved communities in the mountain areas of NC.

Most recently, the NCRCC refined its Mission, Vision, and Value Statements and also adopted two main objectives. One, it will promote and support a statewide respite care network by sharing resources, best practices, and funding opportunities in an interactive format. Two, it will offer training and professional development opportunities to better equip its members to provide sustainable respite services in their communities.

The NCRCC also accumulated a database listing of over 300 respite providers throughout North Carolina. That data is now uploaded on the ARCH Respite Locator and maintained in the Resources for Caregivers, for access through the NCRCC website.

In 2007, the NCRCC could award respite funds to only 13 families. In February of 2013 the Coalition launched a statewide Respite Voucher program with funds made possible by a Lifespan Respite Grant from NC DAAS. The funding was sufficient to offer 72 respite vouchers valued at $500 each. The statewide community of service providers served as referring agencies. NCRCC Board members received and reviewed over 100 applications from families who were either: on a waiting list; not eligible for other respite funding sources but unable to pay privately; or had exhausted all other sources of respite funding.

The NCRCC awarded all 72 vouchers.

The mission of the North Carolina Respite Care Coalition is to promote and support a statewide quality intergenerational respite
care system
Throughout North Carolina there is an established sustainable network that meets the respite needs of families, caregivers, and individuals across the lifespan
Respite care enhances the quality of life for the caregiver, their loved one and their community through timely, temporary care. Providing the balance to maintain a healthy approach to caregiving supports families across the lifespan. The NCRCC unites providers, caregivers and communities in growing quality lifespan respite care in North Carolina.