Respite Funding Information

Easter Seals Wisconsin strives to keep camp fees as low as possible. We charge less than half the actual cost to Easter Seals for each individual to attend camp, subsidizing about 50%. Most of our campers have their fees paid in part or in full through a third party, such as a social service agency. If you are in need of financial assistance, we encourage you to seek out other sources of funding. While most programs and agencies base their funding on financial need, some take into consideration the extraordinary costs of care of individuals with disabilities and will assist middle-income families.


There are a variety of Medicaid programs and waiver agreements that assist our campers in paying for camp. Some are designed to provide respite to families to avoid out-of-home placement, others to reintegrate loved ones who have been in nursing homes or other institutional settings. Inquire at your county department of health, family services, or your local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ARDC) to determine if you are eligible. Also realize that some counties contract with private agencies, such as Lutheran Social Services or the Family Resource Center, to determine eligibility and distribute Medicaid and/or funding.

  • Children (17 and under): Most children with disabilities in the state of Wisconsin receive funding for respite services from Medicaid-funded Community Waiver Programs such as Community Options (COP) or Community Integration Program (CIP). Not all children with disabilities, even those with significant needs, are eligible for this Medicaid program because of income limits. However, they may be eligible for the state’s Katie Beckett Program.
  • Adults (18+): As of January 2010, approximately 1/3 of Wisconsin counties manage their Medicaid long-term care supports through their health department. By 2012, these counties will have transitioned into the “new” Family Care system, a Medicaid entitlement to long-term care for adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities or seniors with medically fragile conditions. Family Care provides access to long-term care that is (1) home- and community-based or (2) offered in an institutional setting. Easter Seals Wisconsin Camps provide respite and therapeutic recreation programs. If your caregiver needs respite services, Family Care programs may be able to fund it. When you talk to your Managed Care Organization – the regionally-based provider for your Family Care benefit – discuss your desire to attend our respite and therapeutic recreation programs.

Children’s Miracle Network (CMN)

The Children’s Miracle Network directly assists some children and their families to pay for specialized services and equipment, both in their homes and in their communities and funding for camperships in select counties may be available. Two hospitals in Wisconsin may offer help to eligible families: CMN at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital / Marshfield Clinic (800-428-5000), serving 17 counties in central Wisconsin; and CMN Gunderson Lutheran Hospital (800-853-6889), serving 15 counties in western Wisconsin.

Service Clubs & Organizations

Some local service clubs and organizations offer scholarships/camperships to assist individuals to attend camp. These include the Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, Masons, Elks, Knights of Columbus, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Optimists, or your house of worship. Also, some areas have a community foundation or community fund that provides grants for families. Other local private foundations may be able to help as well.

Sample Campership Request Letter

Dear (Organization):

Easter Seals Wisconsin provides a (6-day or 12-day) camp. It is located in Wisconsin Dells and it is exclusively for people who have disabilities.  My (son/daughter/ ...) has (medical condition) and would benefit enormously from attending the program. I would benefit as well from getting a break from (his/her) need for constant supervision and care. I am trying to find help to raise the money I need so (he/she) can attend camp. The session I want (him/her) to go to will cost me ($), and I am writing to ask if your organization could help with part or all of this amount.

Thank you for considering my request. Sponsoring my (son/daughter/...) would make a huge difference for our family! Because campers are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, we want/need to send in our application as soon as possible. If you could please let me know if you can help me, I would appreciate it. You can call me at (telephone #) if you have any questions.

Your Name
City, State, Zip Code

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