Children's Respite Center

Perhaps one of our biggest goals, and our biggest community need, is a Children's Respite Center.  Providing a warm, caring and safe environment where our families can bring their children with emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges is among our top priority.  Find out more about respite for families below


FACTS about



Respite Care is a system of temporary supports and temporary relief for families caring for a family member who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home.​

In an Iowa survey of parents of children with disabilities, a significant relationship was demonstrated between the severity of a child’s disability and their parents missing more work hours than other employees. They also found that the lack of available respite care appeared to interfere with parents accepting job opportunities.

Ableson, A.G., 1999

Studies have shown that respite works and there is a dire need of this service delivery.

FFCFL families have identified respite as a major service delivery gap in their community.  Unfortunately, there are no respite programs that adequately serve this population.  FFCFL proposes to implement such a program to meet the needs of the families and the community.  

The anticipated Children’s Respite Center will provide a safe haven for children/youth who have an emotional, behavioral and mental health challenge.  The first year of the program will provide day respite for those families who need a “break”.  This will allow the caregiver and siblings the time to do something for themselves, rejuvenate, have a sense of normalcy while the child/youth participate in planned activities at the respite center and will be able to interact socially with others in a safe place they can call their own.

FFCFL’s respite center for children is a vital service delivery to families caring for children/youth with emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges.

Respite has been shown to improve family functioning, improve satisfaction with life, enhance the capacity to cope with stress, and improve attitudes toward the family member with a disability.

Cohen and Warren, 1985

In a 1989 national survey of families of a child with a disability, 74% reported that respite had made a significant difference in their ability to provide care at home; 35% of the respite users indicated that without respite services they would have considered out-of-home-placement for their family member.  Knoll, James, Human Services Research Institute, March, 1989

A study of Vermont’s 10 year old respite care program for families with children or adolescents with serious emotional disturbance found that participating families experience fewer out-of-home placements than non-users and were more optimistic about their future capabilities to take care of their children.  Bruns, Eric, November, 15, 1999

Data from an outcome based evaluation pilot study show that respite may also reduce the likelihood of divorce and help sustain marriages.

Wade, C., Kirk, R., Edgar, M., & Baker, L. (2003). Outcome Evaluation: Phase II Results. Chapel Hill, NC:  ARCH National ResourceCenter for Respite and Crisis Care. 

U.S. businesses also incur high costs in terms of decreased productivity by stressed working caregivers. A study by MetLife estimates the loss to U.S. employers to be between $17.1 and $33.6 billion per year. This includes replacement costs for employees who quit because of overwhelming caregiving responsibilities, absenteeism, and workday interruptions. Metropolitan Life (MetLife) Mature Market Institute, 2006 

In a study of a nationally representative profile of non-institutionalized children ages 0-17 who were receiving support from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program because of a disability, only 8% reported using respite care but three quarters of families had unmet respite needs.

Rupp, K, Davies, PS, Newcomb, C, Iams H, Becker C, Mulpuru, S, Ressler, S, Romig, K, and Miller, B. (2005-

  2006). A profile of children with disabilities receiving SSI: Highlights from the National Survey of SSI Children and Families. Soc. Secur. Bull. 66 (2): 21-48