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Respite Care Brings Stability to Children and Parents

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Sometimes all it takes is a weekend break to prevent a mental health crisis. Meeting that short-term need is the goal of respite care services, which provide a safe and supportive home for youth experiencing a significant mental health disorder.

Morrison Child and Family Services currently provides planned and on-demand respite care services in Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties thanks to funding from InterCommunity Health Network CCO. The project is one of many ongoing pilot programs designed to improve local health and health care access for Oregon Health Plan members.

“Without this service, kids with mental health disorders often end up hospitalized or having to move from home to home,” says Kitty Carter, division director at Morrison Child and Family Services. “This service really is a lifeline for these kids and their families.”

Not only is respite care a vital service for children; it can also be a lifeline to parents who may be feeling exhausted and unsure of how to respond to their child’s behaviors.

A vital key to the success of respite care services is the availability of foster homes. With seven local homes currently registered as foster home providers, recruiting more families to become certified continues to be a challenge.

“We want to have more resources for the community,” said Carter. “We are excited about the opportunity to increase the number of foster homes, especially in Lincoln County.”

To sign up for respite services as a parent or to get more information about becoming a respite provider, please call Morrison Child and Family Services at 503-258-4200.