Central Massachusetts Respite Project (CMRP)

family caregiver attending conferenceA unique and highly successful project that has existed in the Worcester area since 2007 is the Central Massachusetts Respite Project (CMRP), an internship opportunity for college students who are majoring in the field of human services. The CMRP is a collaboration among families who have a child or adult with special needs, higher education, and a community agency. The objective of this project is to provide much needed respite services to eligible families while expanding the opportunities for “hands on” training for college students enrolled in corresponding fields of study. College student interns are matched with families in need of respite services. 

Throughout one semester, a family may receive up to 100 hours of “FREE” respite services while the student earns college credit.  The Seven Hills Foundation has served as the lead agency with this project since its inception. 

The CMRP has been funded through generous grants from the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, The Stoddard Charitable Trust, Boston Scientific, the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, the Ruth H. & Warren A. Ellsworth Foundation, the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts and the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.  For more information, contact the CMRP Co-Directors – Barbara Donati ( or Joan Rafferty (

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