Respite Care… It’s Essential!


You are busy. You are fatigued. You need a break. Somewhere between fitting in the physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, behavioral therapy, school, play, etc, time gets lost and you, the caregiver, may begin to feel physically and emotionally drained. 


You are the loving parent your child needs, so why not find someone to help you with the extras? For many of you reading this, you may agree with the above statements, but find it extremely difficult to trust in someone to care for your medically or emotionally fragile child, and we absolutely understand. For this reason, we’d like to point you in the direction of some specialist and professionals who are specifically here to provide your child with the care and attention that you give them every day, while you take some much needed time to breathe, rest and relax.


You don’t necessarily have to go get a spa treatment (although, we won’t stop you!); it may be a time you can use to go to the grocery store, do some laundry or even read a book you’ve been wanting to dive into for some time now. Below is a list of primarily locally-based programs and camps, as well as a state-funded program that allows you, the care provider, to educate your personally, hand-chosen individual, to provide care for your child in the hours you are unable, at no cost to you. Everyone, everyone, everyone needs some downtime once in a while. You do too.

  • Brentwood Baptist Church rEcess

  • rEcess is our new monthly respite night for children with disabilities and their siblings, ages 2-14. We are thrilled to be able to host this night for families affected by disability and look forward to serving families within our church and eventually our community. For more information or to inquire about signing up, please contact Ellie at


  • Buddy Break
    Hendersonville • 447-1323
    Hermitage • 481-2819
    Lebanon • 484-9386
    Mt. Juliet • 772-3391


  • A service of Nathaniel’s Hope, Buddy Break is a free, once-a-month respite program where kids with special needs can enjoy supervised activities while Mom and Dad take a break.


  • Full Circle at the YMCA
    Bellevue • 646-9622
    Brentwood • 373-9622
    Donelson-Hermitage • 889-2632
    Green Hills • 297-6529
    Rutherford Co. • 895-5995

  • A free service to Y members ages 3 – 21 with special needs, this year-round program includes after-school arts, fitness and sports classes, swimming lessons, summer activities and more.


  • Camp:

Victory Junction; Randleman NC


Important Dates:

December 1st Summer Application Opens

April 1st Summer Application Deadline

July 1st Fall Weekend Application Opens

November 1st Spring Weekend Application Opens


  • “We believe that every child, no matter their illness or diagnosis, should enjoy normal childhood experiences. Victory Junction is where children, whose lives are filled with limitations and boundaries, face fun challenges and discover just how resilient they are. The camp experience is not just about playing games, it is about helping children learn more about their abilities and what they can do.”

See more at:


  • Camp:

Camp SummerSign at Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church (BBDC)

324-6103 •


  • Offers a summer day camp for eight weeks June – July at BBDC for the deaf and hard of hearing youth.



  • Camp:

Camp Will: Therapeutic Summer Day Camp in Williamson Co.

790-5719, ext. 2021 •


  • A specialized therapeutic day camp for children, adolescents and young adults living in Williamson County with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Takes place in June every year.


  • Tennessee Respite Coalition:

  • The Respite Voucher program helps caregivers pay for respite services. The Respite Vouchers program is for caregivers whose children are diagnosed with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) or with autism and SED. Families helped by the Respite Voucher program select and train their own respite provider. The respite voucher helps the family to pay that respite provider.

How Respite Vouchers Work:

  • Respite vouchers are self-directed.
  • All caregivers in the program are allowed a set amount to pay for respite services as needed for one year.
  • Funding for this program is limited.
  • To enroll or ask questions, call 615-269-8687 or visit the Tennessee Respite Coalition website.

Respite for Caregivers

Planned Respite is a program that helps enrolled caregivers of children with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) learn the skills necessary for getting respite care. 

Planned Respite teaches caregivers how to find respite providers and to train those providers on how to care for their children. Planned Respite also gives caregivers some immediately needed respite. 

Caregivers of children, ages 2-15, with Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) are eligible to participate in Planned Respite. Planned Respite lasts about 3 months. Families may enroll once.

To enroll or get more information, please contact the program nearest you.

Ph: (423) 825-4410

Ph: (615) 206-7564

Ph: (731) 664-2111 

Johnson City
Ph: (423) 232-2665

Knoxville/Oak Ridge
Ph: (865) 659-7260

Ph: (901) 353-5440, (x. 367)

Ph: (615) 890-4622  

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