Kids Resource Network Services
Some families, for whatever reason, are unable to provide ongoing regular 24/7 care. There are other ways to help. Kids' Resource Network of Colorado Springs, Inc., licenses homes to provide respite services to families who may need some support and/or assistance. This option is often utilized to avoid placement of children for families or to give "breaks" to preserve placements and add a little extra support. We typically find respite services within our own agency and often license some families specifically to be available for such situations. These homes fall under the same licensure standards as our foster homes that accept children full time and are adequately trained to work with many children and their families.
Respite care providers are held to the same licensure and standards as foster homes. Many individuals or families opt for this type of involvement with our agency in order to open their hearts and home for a temporary period of time, while at the same time giving back to the community,. This type of involvement often works for people who have hectic schedules, who are unable to provide the longer term placements yet still have the desire to be a resource for children and families in need. This type of licensure is often utilized where by a break is therapeutically necessary. For example should a parent need a break of up to 7 days, for multiple reasons, i.e., health reasons, mental health crisis, funeral, etc. However this can not be used as a baby-sitting service. This is a true preservation intervention.
The following stories, although fictional, could be true scenarios on reasons why respite could be necessary.
- Susie, a 25 year old single mom is up to her ears in stress. She has recently lost her job and received final notices on her bills. In addition she has her rambunctious 4 and 6 year old sons to tend to. Susie has been toying with the idea of relapse and needs some help. A weekend of respite was just what the doctor ordered. Susie called PPMH and requested services and supports. After opening a file with them she got just what she asked for. Her two children were placed in a safe and secure foster/respite licensed home for three days. During this time, Susie was able to get the house in order and through community resources applied for a few jobs she qualified for. In the end, Susie was employed and due to the fresh breath of air by the little break, she was able to do the most important job given - to be a mother to her children. Since this time, Susie has utilized respite about every 6 weeks to get her affairs in order. The children are happier and Susie wakes up ready to face another day.
- Mary, a 57 year old grandmother was given custody of her 11 year old grand-son Mark. After a well check, Mary was informed she need to follow through with a surgery she had been putting off for too long. It was scheduled for the following week, with only one problem, she had no one to look after Mark. Mark, being a fantastic student with little behavior concerns wasn't a problem for anyone, but Mary was new to the neighborhood and had few people she could count on. Mary, through private pay, received respite for a week while she tended to her medical needs. She was able to recover quickly due to the lessened stress of knowing her grandson was being well taken care of. Mary and Mark now frequent the respite provider families home, and Mary has a person she can now count on if ever needed. Mark has also benefited in that he now has an additional 'family' to visit and enjoy!