How to Become a Respite Care Provider

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A respite care provider allows full-time caregivers of children and adults with mental and physical disabilities a break from demanding daily tasks. This temporary care can be essential for the well-being of both the caregivers and care receivers, taking place either in the home or in a community care center. The requirements for the position vary by establishment, but they generally follow similar protocol. The steps below should help you on your way toward a fulfilling career as a short-term care provider.

Find respite care centers near you via an Internet and phone search. The National Respite Network (see Resources below) includes state-by-state care center listings.

Fill out job applications to work as a respite care provider. Make sure to include at least three valid professional references who can vouch for your previous work experience and attributes.

Attend the job interview conducted by the respite care center, and let your interviewers know exactly why you are interested and qualified for the position. Bring your application and resume to this meeting.

Complete the respite care center’s paid training period if you have been accepted, during which time you will learn the rules and regulations of the job.

Take the CPR and First Aid courses that are generally included during this training period to receive the required certifications for the job.

Begin work as a respite care provider and ensure that you work at least five to 10 hours on the job each month and are prompt and professional in order to maintain good standing at your workplace.


As a respite care provider, you will generally need to use your own car for transportation to clients’ homes. It is a good idea to keep receipts of your gasoline purchases and mileage so that your workplace can reimburse you.


Avoid a career as a respite care provider if you yourself have a history of severe mental instability or physical handicaps.