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Why a
Respite Home?


Established in 1982 in Oxford, England, Helen House began the global Children’s Hospice Home movement. Children’s Hospice Homes assist families whose children have a recognized shortened life expectancy. Ideally, a family connects with a Home team upon discovering their child has a life-limiting condition, often at diagnosis. At no cost, the family is provided much-needed overnight respite, palliative care, and end-of-life hospice services when needed.

Although globally referred to as a “Hospice Home,” typically less than 20% of the services are actually for end-of-life care. The majority (80%+) is often providing planned overnight respite for children with complex medical conditions and their families. The Home’s “shared services” model offers lower costs than one-to-one homecare, with one or two nurses overseeing up to eight children supported by volunteers and attendants. For staff, it is often “a calling,” which minimizes turnover and strengthens team continuity. These Homes function as neither a hospital nor a daycare. Instead, they become an extension of home, fulfilling the missing respite gap in a typical care continuum.

Respite Homes support the most fragile families along the most difficult journey imaginable.


  • Exclusively focused on supporting children with life-limiting conditions, and their families

  • Pediatric palliative care centered

  • “Short Term” Respite

  • End of Life “Hospice” care


  • A replacement for the hospital, nor a “medical” facility

  • For a few hours at a time
    (not a babysitting service), nor a daycare

  • A long-term facility for care


A Respite Home offers some significant advantages for your community 

  • Respite Homes are a “shared services” model. Generally, 1 or 2 nurses are in the house at all times, overseeing up to 8 children with the support of attendants and aids, and volunteers. Therefore, overall costs are reduced compared to trying to sustain this in a home for one-to-one care. 

  • Care is overseen by a medical director (in some cases it may be a part-time role) and the child’s own primary care doctor retains responsibility supported by the house care team. 

  • Because working in a home like this is often “a calling”, that helps to slow down or minimize staff turnover so there is stronger continuity of the team. 

  • While every child is unique, each Respite Home serves such a breadth of children and families that the Respite Home care team is already familiar with all the equipment and care regiment procedures so they can quickly adapt for a new child and family. 

  • And perhaps most importantly…a Respite Home is always open, all year long.  Dependable, Safe, and Trustworthy.


Momentum is building!

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