Respite is a break from the constant care of a family member with an illness or disability.

Stress from constant care can affect caregivers’ health and functioning and potentially harm the family unit.

Getting respite allows time for caregivers to attend to their personal health and needs. When caregivers take care of themselves, they are better equipped to continue care for their loved one at home.

To get respite, caregivers must find a respite provider, train that provider to care for their loved one, and pay the respite provider.

If your child has a Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED), then consider the Planned Respite and Respite Voucher programs. Both programs help parents find respite providers, train providers, and pay for providers.

The Planned Respite program and Respite Voucher program are funded by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services specifically for caregivers of children with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED).