AF officials launch respite care program

By Air Force News on November 7, 2011

WASHINGTON - Air Force officials have teamed with the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies to launch the Air Force Exceptional Family Member Program Respite Care Program.

The program is built around providing a break for parents with special-needs children. It allows parents to receive 8-20 hours of respite care per month at no charge as long as they meet eligibility requirements.

The program was launched in July in seven regions with a high concentration of Air Force Families, officials said. The locations include: The National Capital Region; Tacoma; San Antonio; Honolulu; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Charleston, S.C.; and Hampton, Va.

These are currently the only locations where the program is offered, but Air Force officials are working with NACCRRA to identify additional locations.

"The goal is to hit every (continental U.S.) location that needs respite care." said Dianna Hills, the Exceptional Family Member Program manager.

The program is open to active duty, Guard and Reserve (activated for 31 days or more) Airmen, stationed at or near one of the seven locations, officials said. For Families to be eligible for the program, the child must be enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program, diagnosed with moderate to severe special needs, 18 years or younger and reside with the Airman.

To apply for the program, contact Child Care Aware at 800-424-2246 or and they will connect the Airman's Family to a local participating agency. The agency will work with the Family to complete the necessary application and assist with connecting the Family with a local respite care provider.