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Nebraska Respite Network

Nebraska Respite

Respite care, planned or emergency, is the provision of short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members with special needs.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute is conducting an evaluation of the Nebraska Lifespan Respite Care System. We ask for your input in the important work.

I am a Family Caregiver  |   I am a Respite Care Provider

Respite Directory and Resources

Respite Contacts and Map

Respite Regions Map


Statewide Contact Information

Sharon J. Johnson
DHHS – Children and Family Services
Lifespan Respite Subsidy and Disabled Persons & Family Support Program
P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, NE  68509-5026
Phone: 402-471-1764
Toll Free: 866-737-7483

Central Region

Peggy Jensen
626 N Street - PO Box 509 - Loup City, NE 68853
Phone: 308-745-0780 Ext. 145
Toll Free: 866-737-7483

Eastern Region

Ellen Bennett
985450 Nebraska Medical Center - Omaha, NE 68198-5450
Phone: 402-559-5732
Toll Free: 866-737-7483

Northern Region

Peggy Jensen
626 N Street - PO Box 509 - Loup City, NE 68853
Phone: 308-745-0780 Ext. 145
Toll Free: 866-737-7483

Southeast Region

Mary Shada
211 N 14th Street, Suite 214 - Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: 402-300-8448
Toll Free: 866-737-7483

Southwest Region

Helena Janousek
404 W. 10th - McCook, NE 69001
Phone: 308-345-4990
Toll Free: 866-737-7483

Western Region

Sherri Blome
300 Shelton Street - Chadron, NE 69337
Phone: 308-432-8190
Toll Free: 866-737-7483

Online Assessment Tools

Other Self-Assessments

Looking for additional support? Join one of the following Email Discussion Groups:

AlzTalk - For Nebraskans caring for people with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias

AutismTalk - For parents of children with autism spectrum disorders

Caregivers - For Nebraska's caregivers

Child-Mental-Health - For families of children with mental health needs

ElderCare - For Nebraskans caring for an elderly person

FamilyTalk - For families of children with special needs and those who support them

Grandparents - Grandparents as Caregivers


Respite Reports and Regulations

DPFS 2016 draft regulations and annual reports to Govenor and Legislature:

Nebraska Lifespan Respite  
FY 2015 Respite Program Across the Lifespan Outcomes  

If you have any question you may contact:
Sharon Johnson at the Department of Health and Human Services
Phone: 402-471-1764 | Toll Free: 866-737-7483

Respite Subsidy

What is This Program?

This program pays for respite services to give the primary family caregiver a temporary break. Respite means the provision of short-term relief to primary family caregivers from the demands of ongoing care for an individual with special needs. Ongoing care means continuous, full-time supervision/care for a person with special needs. DHHS Manual reference 464 NAC 1-007 and 1-008. It is NOT for people who are receiving respite services from another government program.

Who Needs This Program?

Unpaid family caregivers who need a temporary break from providing ongoing care to persons of any age with special needs. Examples of special needs are developmental disabilities; physical disabilities; chronic illness; physical, mental or emotional conditions that require supervision; special health care needs; cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia; or persons at risk of abuse & neglect. Eligibility is based on income guidelines. HOWEVER, if you have expenses directly related to the disability, these can usually be subtracted from the counted income. The person applying must have a family caregiver living in the same home. The program will provide up to $125 per eligible client per month.

What if I Have Questions or Need Help with the Application or Finding a Provider?

Call a Respite Network Coordinator in your area at 1-866-RESPITE (1-866-737-7483) for help with respite resources. You may also visit the DHHS supported website “Nebraska Resource and Referral System” at This free service will assist you 24/7 in finding Network-approved respite providers that best fit your needs and location. You can easily search for respite resources and supportive services throughout Nebraska on the site.

  • What if I (family caregiver) need help finding a Network-approved respite provider so I can have a break?
  • How do I get a care recipient qualified for the Lifespan Respite Subsidy Program?
  • How do I become a Respite provider?
  • When/where is family caregiver and/or provider training offered?
What are the Program Eligibility Income Limits?

DHHS program regulation 464-NAC 2-004.03 Financial Eligibility:

2-004.03A Family Size: Family size is determined by the number of adults and/or children related by blood, marriage or adoption who reside in the same household. An unborn child may be included. The following are considered separate families:

  1. Related adults other than spouses and unrelated adults who reside together;
  2. Children living with non-legally responsible relatives;
  3. Emancipated minors;
  4. A minor parent; and
  5. Children placed outside the home and who are not residing full-time with the biological parents or usual caretaker.

2-004.03C Income Eligibility: Clients whose gross income minus allowable disregards is at or below 312 percent of the Federal poverty level for the appropriate family size, meet the income criteria for the Respite Subsidy Program.

2016 Income Levels (312% Federal Poverty Level)

Family Size
Monthly Income Criteria
Family Size
Maximum Financial Resource Limit
2 or more


How do I Apply?

Submit a Lifespan Respite Subsidy application (and supportive documentation, if needed) electronically to OR mail to: DHHS, Division of Children & Family Services, Attn: Economic Assistance, P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, NE 68509-5044. To speak with Program staff, call (402) 471-9188 (Linda Lehde, Social Services Worker) or (402) 471-1764 (Sharon Johnson, Program Coordinator) or (402) 471-9450 (Economic Assistance Support Staff).

Application Forms and Fact Sheets

Lifespan Respite Subsidy Program Application

Crisis Respite Application

CFS-22 Respite Narrative Instructions and Sample

CFS-22 Form

Call 1-866-RESPITE for more information


National Family Caregivers Month 2015: Recognizing the Value of Respite for Caregivers

ACL BLOG - By Greg Link, Aging Services Program Specialist, Administration for Community Living. Each November, we recognize family caregivers for all they do to ensure the health, safety, and dignity of the people they care for. Family caregivers are the social and economic underpinning of America’s long-term care system. Without them, the burden of providing care likely would fall upon the formal, more costly healthcare delivery system, and many people who otherwise could remain in their homes and communities would have to live in institutional settings. Supporting caregivers is critical—and a key part of ACL’s mission. Read more ...

UNMC, state team to train respite providers

UNMC TODAY- The Munroe-Meyer Institute at UNMC and the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services' (DHHS) Nebraska Respite Program are looking for individuals across the state interested in being trained to provide respite care services, as well as families who might be eligible to receive a subsidy for respite care services. Read more ...

Shortage of respite care providers extends across state

KEARNEY HUB - Some families need a break but, without a caregiver, they may not get one. Some just want to take a shower while others want to go grocery shopping or read a book by themselves. The University of Nebraska Medical Center, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, is scrambling to train more respite caregivers, Peggy Jensen, a lifespan respite specialist in Loup City, said. Read more ...

Respite May Offer Temporary Break, Free Time for Qualified Caregivers

1011NOW - For caregivers who are taking care of loved ones with a disability or medical condition, sometimes a break is much needed. That’s where the Nebraska Respite Program can come in. According to the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, “Respite service pays someone to come into the home, take care of an individual with special needs, and give the primary caregiver a temporary break.” Read more ...

Need for respite caregivers is growing, training offered

LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR - As the demand grows for respite caregivers to work with elderly and disabled patients, the Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ Nebraska Respite Program, are expanding training and assistance. Respite offers family caregivers a temporary break from the demands of caring for loved ones with disabilities or medical conditions including behavioral health needs. It is provided in the home or while participating in community activities agreed on with the family caregivers. Read more ...

Offering A Break For Caregivers

ALLIANCE — Long term care means all day every day. Need for care may have started due to age and illness or been because of a lifelong physical or psychological challenge. Sherri Blome, respite coordinator for the Panhandle, is based in Chadron and covers all 11 counties. She partners with the Worksite Wellness program and is visiting businesses that have attended their meetings. Each business receives a large basket with the respite name and contact information on items such as spatulas and informational brochures and folders. They are encouraged to share the baskets with employees and/or the public to inform people about available respite services. Read more ...

Respite Care Needed in the Omaha Area

WOWT - If you are at least 14 years old, and are interested in becoming a respite provider - you may be eligible for an eight hour respite training session. Call 1-866-RESPITE (737-1423) for more information. View the news story from WOWT News Daybreak.

How to Become a Respite Provider

Visit the Respite Provider Portal to find respite provider resources, applications and training calendar!

Do you have the gift of service? Do you want to help families in need?

The Nebraska Respite Network is a statewide program funded through the Department of Health and Human Services. Our primary function is to coordinate respite resources across the state. We do that by acting as a resource for family caregivers to contact when they are in need of respite services and for providers of respite services to utilize in order to get connected with families in need of care. The Nebraska Respite Network can be contacted by calling 1-866-RESPITE.

As you may already know, a family caregiver is a person who cares for someone who has a long-term or lifelong physical or psychological challenge. Respite can occur in many different ways and places depending on the needs of the family caregiver and the person they are caring for. Respite allows the family caregiver an opportunity to have time to do what is needed to take care of themselves, thereby helping relieve stress in the family.

If you are interested in becoming an individual respite provider, either paid or volunteer, please complete one of the following:

  • Give us a call at 1-866-RESPITE (1-866-737-7483)
  • Request that a regional coordinator contact you
  • Complete the detailed Individual Provider form and email it to your local regional coordinator

If you are an agency interested in providing respites care, please complete the
Agency Provider form.

If you know of a family caregiver in need of respite services, encourage them to call the Nebraska Respite Network at 1-866-RESPITE. We can provide them with a list of respite providers in their area who have completed background checks and provide information on potential funding sources for respite care.

Please answer a few questions to help us improve access to lifespan respite services statewide. Each time someone provides feedback it allows us to improve services. This self-assessment will help you evaluate your emotional and physical stress as a family caregiver.

Center on Children Families and the Law - University of Nebraska-Lincoln 206 S. 13th St. Suite 1000
Lincoln, NE 68588-0227 - Phone: 800-746-8420 - Tollfree: 402-472-0844 in Lincoln
Answers4Families  Nebraska Department Health and Human Services  Center on Children Families and the Law