Alabama Lifespan Respite Resource Network® (Alabama Respite) was awarded a 2014 Federal Lifespan Respite Grant (90LI0020-01-00) from the Alabama Department of Senior Services. Alabama is currently one of 32 states with this limited funding awarded for the purpose of encouraging states to increase respite awareness and resources, strengthen collaboration and infrastructure for respite, and assist in creating a coordinated system of accessible, community-based respite care services for family caregivers of individuals across the lifespan with special needs or chronic/terminal illness.

Purpose of Mini-Grant Program

In addition to informing the public about Alabama’s participation in the Federal Lifespan Respite Grant, this Request for Proposal announcement is released to encourage the submission of proposals for innovative programs that will help expand respite options in Alabama.

While surveys have shown respite to be the most requested service by caregivers, current resources are inadequate to meet the needs of Alabama caregivers. Additionally, diagnosis- or age-specific eligibility requirements have created numerous gap populations that do not have access to traditional respite services. An additional barrier to receiving respite is the lack of trained respite providers for various care populations and/or geographic areas of the state.

To help address these concerns, Alabama Respite is expanding the availability and accessibility of respite for gap populations through the award of four or more mini-grants of up to $5,000 each to applicants representing individuals with disabilities and/or chronic/terminal illnesses.

Respite Expansion Mini-Grants will identify and address these gaps in services through innovative program delivery options. The goal is to increase caregiver utilization of respite through new and sustainable respite options for families with diverse needs across the state.

Anticipated outcomes of awarding mini-grants for innovative projects include:

1.       Family caregivers currently ineligible or with limited access to funded respite will receive these services and be further sustained in their role with care recipients at home.

2.       Caregivers will have assistance with accessing and using respite effectively, thus reducing the potential for abuse and neglect of vulnerable care recipients.

3.       Alabama’s communities will be better positioned to support family caregivers through sustainable respite options.

The ultimate goal is to generate actual respite for family caregivers and others providing informal care for someone of any age with a special need or chronic/terminal illness. A secondary goal is to demonstrate how effective small investments in respite can be and to develop models with impact data to show to other entities, including potential funding sources, elsewhere in the state and nation.

Requirements for Proposals

Non-profit agencies and faith communities serving those with special needs and/or chronic or terminal illnesses are eligible to apply. Applicants will be required to provide a 25% cash or in-kind match and have a plan to sustain their proposed program after the grant cycle ends August 31, 2015.

Program Narrative should be no more than six double-spaced, typed pages and address the following:

·   Brief history of applicant and qualifications to administer the proposed program

·   Population to be served (e.g., parents of children with any disability/special need, a family caregiver of someone with chronic/terminal/mental illness, family caregivers of adults with dementia, etc.) and reason why this population is considered unserved or underserved in regards to respite services

* Description of proposed program, including program structure, goals and objectives

* Evaluation methods to measure program success

* Program timeline listing major activities to meet goals and objectives

* Sustainability plan for continuation of program after the one-time grant’s completion

Program Budget should be a separate, additional page and provide budget numbers and justification for personnel, supplies and services needed to carry out grant activities. Cash-match and in-kind of at least 25% of the grant request should also be listed. Grant funds shall not be used to supplant existing funding for respite services.

A copy of the applicant’s 501(c)(3) letter should follow the budget. Letters of support or additional attachments to help explain the project are optional.

Selection Criteria

A grant selection committee will review and score all proposals emailed to by 5 p.m. Friday, January 16, 2015 or postmarked by the same date to Alabama Respite, 1856 Keats Drive, Huntsville, AL 35810. The selection committee will be comprised of professionals and family caregivers who serve on the Alabama Lifespan Respite Coalition and are not applying for funds them-selves. Other members of the committee may include program and/or budget staff. 

Successful applicants will be notified by Friday, January 30, 2015 for a grant start date of February 1, 2015. All grant activities must be completed, including a project evaluation, by August 31, 2015.

Special consideration will be given to projects that meet an important gap in service and are innovative, replicable and/or deemed likely to be sustained after the project completion date.