Start-Up Respite Funds

Start-Up Respite Grant Program

The Respite Care Association of Wisconsin (RCAW) is looking to fund new respite programs or businesses in the state of Wisconsin. One of the biggest barriers to starting a new respite program are the start-up business costs, such as facility costs, insurance, payroll, accounting, licensing, equipment, supplies, and staff education.

RCAW will be offering these funds through July 2027 because of a grant received from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) through the Federal Lifespan Respite Grant program and a partnership with the WI Department of Health Services. **

In 2023 and 2024, funds will be available specifically for new programs and businesses in Milwaukee County due to the generosity of Bader Philanthropies.


  • Must be either a 1) New program or business or 2) Starting a new respite program or location as part of an existing business (expansion)
  • Program/Business must provide direct services in Wisconsin
  • A key team member of the program/business must have completed the Bringing Respite to Your Community (BRYC) Workshop


Applications will be accepted throughout the year. Award decisions will be made quarterly (Jan, Apr, July, Oct). Programs may submit up to two applications per year. Programs that have not previously been selected will be given priority.

Any questions can be directed to Val Madsen at

**These funds are supported, in part by grant number 90LRLI0050, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201 to Wisconsin DHS. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to freely express their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.


To Apply

Step 2

Fill out the online application.

Note: You are not able to save and come back to your application. It is suggested that you type up your answers using the word document in step one for easy copy and paste. 

Step 3

Email the budget templates and additional supporting documentation to

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money can be requested for this grant? 

  • Grant requests can range from $5,000 to $25,000.

What costs can these grant funds cover?

  • Funds can be used for any business-related start-up costs (facility, insurance, licensing, staff onboarding and education, printing, marketing, program supplies, equipment, etc.) 

When are applications due?

  • Applications will be accepted throughout the year. Award decisions will be made quarterly (January, April, July, and October).
  • Applications must be received prior to the decision month (to receive consideration for the April quarter, applications will need to be received by March 31). If an application is received after the decision month has arrived, it may be considered in the following quarter.
  • You will be notified by the end of the decision month about the status of your grant application.
  • Programs may submit up to two applications per year. Programs that have not been previously selected will be given priority.

Under eligibility, it states that “a key team member of the program/business must have completed the Bringing Respite to Your Community (BRYC) Workshop”. What is this workshop and how can I find out more information?

  • The  BRYC workshop is currently offered through RCAW. During the summer of 2023, a train-the-trainer program will be launched, and communities will be able to offer this workshop in their area. To find out more about the RCAW workshops and how to become a trainer, visit: Bringing Respite to Your Community Workshop.

My program was selected to receive funds, now what? 

  • Congrats! You will receive an agreement and paperwork to sign. Once these are returned, you will be mailed your grant award. There is a required 6-month and 1-year progress report about how the funds were used and how the program is going. Guidelines for these reports will be available soon.

I have questions, who can I ask?

Data from 2018 – December 2022

Number of individuals who've successfully completed the Respite Care Provider Training course
Number of respite care providers currently listed on the Wisconsin Respite Care Registry
Total dollars we’ve provided family caregivers to receive respite care through the Caregiver Respite Grant Program
Number of respite hours provided to family caregivers who've applied for the Caregiver Respite Grant Program