Respite Care Application Announcement

Release Date:  April 1, 2021

The PA Care Partnership, a state-wide System of Care Grant initiative funded by the  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Bureau of Children’s Behavioral Health Services, is pleased to announce the Respite Care Funding Opportunity for the 2020/2021 fiscal year, through our partner, Youth MOVE PA. Youth MOVE PA will award up to four (4) counties, programs, or organizations up to $10,000.00 respite funding to explore innovative options for respite services to support families in caring for a child, youth, or young adults from birth to 21 years of age with complex behavioral health challenges. 

As part of the funding opportunity, we will have a learning community of the funded sites to share ideas, challenges, and successes to enhance how respite services are delivered.  Those applying and receiving funding must agree to participate in bi-monthly calls to discuss best practices to be shared for future use.

The Goals for the Respite Funding opportunity are to:

  • Develop or expand respite services with a focus on youth with complex behavioral health and their families.
  • Provide additional resources to families/youth in need of respite services.
  • Develop and/or provide training for youth, family, and systems to expand their knowledge and skills providing respite services specifically related to children and youth ages birth-21 with serious emotional disturbances and their families. Areas of focus include youth who may have multiple system involvement including, Children and Youth, Juvenile Justice, Education, Drug and Alcohol, and Early Intervention Services.

For this funding opportunity respite is defined as the following:

Respite refers to short-term, temporary care provided to children/youth, ages 0-21, diagnosed with serious emotional or behavioral challenges so that their families/caregivers can take a break from the daily routine of caregiving.  Respite can be delivered in the family’s/caregiver’s home or out in the community.  Respite services can vary from a few hours for a single day to a whole week or involve overnight care for a limited time.

Respite care can be an essential part of the overall support that families/caregivers need to sustain and care for their child or children. Respite care should be responsive to the individual family/caregiver needs.  

Respite may include:

  • In-home services by a county-approved respite caregiver or licensed provider.
  • Respite Camp, following Commonwealth recommendations related to social distancing and safety standards. (up to 1 week of non-MA funded per fiscal year) – Overnight or day camps.
  • Hours spent by a county-approved respite caregiver or licensed provider providing respite care in community settings (i.e., playgrounds, amusement parks, local parks, and libraries.)
  • Out of home services through a county-approved caregiver or licensed provider.
  • Overnight services by a county-approved respite caregiver or licensed provider.
  • Non-planned respite for unforeseen circumstances (i.e., medical condition, death in the family).
  • Respite funds can be used for before and after school non-MA funded programs.
  • Adhere to best practices for social distancing in response to COVID-19.

Respite does not include:

  • Therapeutic interventions.
  • Crisis interventions for the child/youth.
  • Medical Assistance funded services.
  • Payment for ongoing instructional lessons/classes, recreational fees, or supplies (i.e., YMCA memberships, karate lessons, admission tickets, horseback riding lessons, durable goods, etc.)
  • Vacations
  • Funding for siblings who do not meet the eligibility criteria

Respite Funding Opportunity Overview


Entities eligible for the respite funding opportunity are as follows:

  • Counties who are not currently receiving funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through a current System of Care Grant.
  • Counties currently working and contracted to work with the PA Care Partnership (Blair, Carbon, Crawford, Delaware, Greene, Monroe, Pike, Venango, and York Counties), in collaboration with the local System of Care County Leadership Team and System of Care Coordinator.
  • Programs and organizations that currently provide Respite Services within a county or joinder.  (The applicant must have a letter of support that the County agrees with the approach and requirements of the funding opportunity funding announcement)



  • Counties that are being directly funded by a System of Care Grant from the following System of Care Grants (Behavioral Health Alliance of Rural Pennsylvania, Allegheny County, Luzerne/Wyoming Counties, Beaver County, and Philadelphia County). SAMHSA funding guidelines prohibit counties within Pennsylvania, currently involved in a System of Care Grant, from applying for and receiving funding.

Proposal Requirements:

  • Proposals that meet the following requirements will be considered for funding:
    • Active input in creating the proposal by at least one system partner (County Agency or Provider, Community Partner), one youth, and one family member, with all entities signing off on the submission. 
    • Provided a detailed summary of how the proposal was developed, including how the youth, family, systems, and providers were involved in creating the proposal.
    • Describe the population to be served and what will be provided to each community, i.e., direct services, training, etc.
    • Description of the respite program.
    • The rationale for funding.
    • Where this will take place (county-wide, provider-specific).
    • How the program will implement the determined approaches.
    • Timeline to implement the respite program.
    • Funding to be encumbered by September 29, 2021.
    • How the program will participate in the bi-monthly calls, data collection, etc.
    • How will the program sustain or adapt once the funding opportunity has ended?
    • Contact person who will answer questions regarding the application and be notified regarding the funding approval if accepted.

Proposals should not be longer than six (6) pages and should include the cover sheet and budget on how the funding will be utilized

Application Considerations:

  • Innovation around youth and young adults having the ability to enter respite.
  • Development of a memorandum of understanding between agencies and/or community organizations to provide in-kind or matching funding/support.
  • Utilization of funding for existing or newly funded respite programs to support improved trauma awareness. 
  • Advertise the respite opportunity to the identified population.  
  • Seamless transition from youth to young adults utilizing respite.

Funding Utilization:

  • Funding can be used for training, development, and provision of respite service
  • Funding cannot be used for renovation or building/office improvements
  • Grant funding requests should not exceed $10,000.00 per county
  • Funding must be utilized and encumbered by 9/29/2021.

Application Submission:

  • April 1, 2021 - Release of Respite Funding Opportunity
  • All proposals should be submitted in the template provided in Appendix A, and Appendix B.  A Microsoft Office Word version of the template can also be downloaded directly from this link:
  • Applications are due no later than 4:00 pm Friday, April 30, 2021
  • Please submit applications to:

 Award Notifications:

  • Notice of award will be sent on or before May 30, 2021. Counties/providers will be notified by email by Youth MOVE PA

Questions about the funding opportunity can be directed to:

Respite Resources:     

For information on the PA Care Partnership visit

For information on Youth MOVE PA visit