What does a Respite Worker do?

Learn all about Respite Worker duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Respite Worker.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A respite worker is someone who provides temporary relief for another person, typically a caregiver. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as providing child care so the parent can have a break, or helping an elderly person with activities of daily living so the primary caregiver can take a break.

Respite Worker job duties include:

  • Providing care to children with disabilities in a home setting
  • Planning and carrying out age-appropriate activities
  • Monitoring the health and safety of the children in your care
  • Administering medication and first aid as needed
  • Keeping detailed records of the children's daily activities and health
  • Liaising with the families of the children in your care
  • Attending training courses and workshops related to respite care
  • Maintaining a clean and safe environment for the children
  • Adhering to all relevant legislation and guidelines relating to respite care

Respite Worker Job Requirements

A respite worker is a professional who provides care for children with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or other special needs in order to give their families a break from the constant demands of caregiving. There are no specific educational requirements for respite workers, but many have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some states require respite workers to be certified in CPR and first aid, and some employers may require certification in a specific area of disability or chronic illness care. Many respite workers have previous experience working with children in a childcare, camp, or educational setting.

Respite Worker Skills

  • Patience
  • Active Listening
  • Emotional Support
  • Stress Management
  • First Aid
  • CPR
  • AED
  • Medication Administration
  • Light Housekeeping
  • Meal Preparation
  • Transportation

Related: Top Respite Worker Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Respite Worker

A respite worker provides care for children with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or other special needs in order to give their primary caregivers a break. They may work in a variety of settings, including the child’s home, a daycare center, or a residential facility.

To become a respite worker, you will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. You will also need to complete a training program that covers topics such as first aid, CPR, and communication. Some respite workers are certified through the National Respite Network and Resource Center.

Once you have completed your training, you will need to find a job. You can search for open positions on websites like or You can also contact your local respite coalition or disability agency to inquire about job openings.

As a respite worker, you will be responsible for providing care and supervision for children with special needs. This may include feeding, bathing, and dressing them; providing medication; and helping them with developmental activities. You will also need to keep accurate records of the child’s health and progress.

Related: Respite Worker Resume Example

Related: Respite Worker Interview Questions (With Example Answers)