Become a Respite Provider

Being a respite care professional provider can be incredibly rewarding work.  Respite providers can make a valuable difference in the lives of caregivers and individuals receiving care. There is currently a shortage of respite care providers in the state of Colorado, which can make it difficult for families and caregivers to find local respite care services – especially in rural areas. By becoming a respite provider, individuals can provide important services to individuals and families.

Not sure what being respite provider means? Watch the video on this page.

Colorado does not require a formal respite provider certification or endorsement. Most respite care professionals either work for an agency or as an independent provider. Individuals may be attracted to either option for various reasons, though there are some key differences that are important to keep in mind. This page provides information on some of those differences. For more information on types of respite care and types of respite providers, please see this page.

Volunteers: Individuals may also choose to provide respite care as a volunteer. Prospective volunteers should reach out to respite care provider organizations to inquire whether they are in need of volunteer support. Nonprofit, community and faith-based respite organizations, in particular, often greatly appreciate volunteer service.

*The Colorado Respite Coalition does not advise individuals on how to set up their own respite care agency or business* 

Working for a respite agency Working as an independent provider

Individual provides as an employee of a respite agency.

Individual works for themselves to provide respite care services independently.

There are many types of agencies offering various kinds of respite care services, though most agencies restrict their care parameters to certain ages, needs, or types of respite care. Individuals interested in working with clients of a particular age or special health care need, or seeking work in a particular setting, should search for agencies that reflect these interests.

Agencies offer diverse salaries and benefits packages, and have various internal standards, policies and training requirements. Individuals looking for employment in the respite industry should identify a few agencies of interest, and compare between.

Independent providers can choose who they work with, which ages and needs (if any) they would like to specialize in, and what type of respite they would like to provide. 

Independent providers retain flexibility, can decide their own hours, set their own rates, and have the autonomy of working for themselves. They do not have the supports offered by a typical employer or respite agency, such as access to training, liability coverage, organized payroll, health insurance and other benefits. Independent providers must network to secure their own clients. 

Individuals may use the CRC’s Resource Database to find respite care providers across the state who may be seeking new employees. Formal job openings are also posted on agency websites and other public job boards. 

Anyone can become an independent provider, but it is vital that they undergo sufficient training to provide respite care services that are safe and enjoyable for all parties.

Questions to ask prospective respite agency employers:

  • What is the employee typical wage? Are there possibilities for wage increases? What about overtime?
  • Do employees receive a full benefits package (insurance, PTO, etc.)? Are benefits only for full-time employees, or do part time employees qualify?
  • Do employees receive training? What does this look like?
  • What is it like to work for the agency? Do other employees enjoy working for the agency?

Working For An Agency - PASA vs. non-PASA
One important distinction between respite provider agencies is whether the organization is a Program Approved Service Agency (PASA). PASAs are respite provider agencies that provide services that are reimbursable by Medicaid. Non-PASA agencies can still provide a full range of respite care services, but must take clients who are able to private pay, or have some other scholarship funding. PASA certification impacts the clientele of respite care agencies, which prospective employees may want to consider.

For more information on PASA certification, please see the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) website

For a complete list of all PASAs in the state of Colorado, see this Google Doc from CDPHE. (Multiple agency types may apply to become a PASA and do not always provide respite care services. For instance, the CDPHE Google Doc (link above) includes information on massage therapy, mentorship, vocational services, and more. Readers may download the full spreadsheet in an Excel file in order to make edits and/or remove non-pertinent information, and to improve search capabilities.)

Individuals who are interested in working for a respite provider agency who can accept Medicaid clients may use this list to search for prospective employers. 

The following resources may be useful to individuals interested in PASA certification:

Alliance Colorado IDD Job Board

Find jobs within the intellectual and developmental disability system through Alliance. Explore and share jobs here

Contact Us:

Colorado Respite Coalition
393 S Harlan St, Ste 108
Lakewood, CO 80226

303-233-1666 Phone
303-233-1028 Fax

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