Parenting is a lot of work, and every parent needs a break - to run to the grocery story, go to the doctor or simply recharge. However, some families can’t take a break because they don’t have a natural support system, like relatives or friends, to watch their child. Respite care is a service that gives families a short-term break. During respite care, families host kids, providing fun and recreational activities, for a day or two. Kids get a break from their daily lives, and parents have an opportunity to run errands or recharge.
“Currently there are no planned and crisis respite homes in Lincoln County,” Jennifer Schwartz, system of care coordinator, said. “This is a tremendous problem for the community because respite care is a crucial service for supporting and stabilizing families.” To fill this need, Morrison Child & Family Services is recruiting families to provide respite care for kids in Lincoln County. Morrison is holding a Meet and Greet to teach community members about respite services and other volunteer opportunities to help children on Thursday, December 5, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Newport Recreation Center, 225 SE Avery St., in Newport.
“Please come and learn about the possibility of becoming a respite provider,” Melissa Jackson, Morrison program manager, said. “This is a great program for people who don’t have time to be full-time foster parents, but can help kids a few days at a time.” Host families provide respite care for children receiving mental health services from Lincoln County Health & Human Services, which includes children in foster care. “Without this service, kids with mental health disorders can end up hospitalized or having to move from home to home,” Kitty Carter, Morrison division director, said. “This service really is a lifeline for these kids and their families.”
Carter said the goal of respite service is to increase permanency and family stability and reduce moves into higher levels of care. Morrison which started providing this service in 2009, trains and certifies families to provide safe and interactive care for kids, ages 3 to 17, for a day or two in their communities. If you would like more information about becoming a respite provider, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Carrie Summers-Nomura, Morrison training and recruitment coordinator, at 503-736-6510