Many families can benefit from a brief respite from caregiving. This is especially true for families experiencing challenges parenting children with special needs, as well as new parents, young parents, or parents without a reliable support system. The following resources explain how respite care services support and strengthen families at risk for child abuse and neglect and how they can help families experiencing family disruptions, such as parental separation or divorce, that may have a negative impact on children. Resources include State and local examples.
Crisis Nursery: Island of Safety
Serves families and helps in the prevention of child abuse and neglect by providing 24-hour emergency care for children and support to strengthen families in crisis.
FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention
Explains planned and emergency respite care, which provides a continuum of services from planned temporary relief for caregivers to emergency respite or crisis care for children at risk of abuse or neglect. This emergency respite provides a temporary safe haven for the child while the parent or guardian seeks assistance with a problem such as substance abuse, domestic violence, or others.
Safe Families for Children
Describes the Safe Families program, designed to provide respite services to parents in crisis to give them time to get back on their feet while their children are in a safe environment. At-risk families are approved and then their children are placed in a volunteer home for an average of six weeks. The families in crisis are provided with the support networks they need to help prevent child abuse and neglect and help them deal with any personal issues they are experiencing.
Illinois Respite Coalition
Describes how respite care provides temporary relief for caregivers from the ongoing responsibility of caring for an individual with special needs who may be at risk of abuse or neglect. The Illinois Respite Coalition works closely with the Department of Child and Family Services and Prevent Child Abuse Illinois to provide support and information to families who may be at risk for maltreatment.
B.A.B.E.S. Child Abuse Prevention Program
Offers respite services to parents in Wisconsin to help alleviate their stress in times of crisis. By strengthening families through support and educational programs, B.A.B.E.S., Inc. hopes to prevent child abuse and break the cycle of unhealthy communication in relationships.
The Family Support Center
Offers Utah parents Crisis Nursery services that can be used for preventing abuse and neglect, stress breaks, medical emergencies, legal obligations, job searching, and more. Crisis nurseries can help prevent some of the risk factors for child abuse and neglect since children often become targets for their parents misdirected anger or frustration when stressors are present.
Crisis Nursery St. Louis
Provides emergency intervention, respite care, and support to families in crisis in the St. Louis area. Crisis nurseries offer short-term care for young children in a safe environment and support resources for empowerment, ongoing support, and parent education, all while helping families resolve crisis.
Children's Services Coalition
Describes respite care services offered to families in the St. Louis area who are experiencing crisis or are at risk of child abuse or neglect. Temporary, emergency shelter is provided for children in these families while caseworkers meet with parents and families to help develop coping skills to deal with future stress.
State Respite Coalitions
ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center (2016)
Provides background information, contacts, and fact sheets about State respite coalitions and State Lifespan Respite programs.