The Children’s Center received $5,000 in grant funding from the Community
Foundation for Brevard. It will be used to support the Respite Program,
also known as Parent Night Out, for family caregivers of children with
and without special needs.
The Children's Center, a service of Parrish Medical Center, provides
respite care to children with all abilities. The program allows parents
a break from their role as caregivers, but they can feel assured that
their children are well cared for because qualified staff, volunteers
and a nurse are onsite during their stay, according to Center Manager
Lori Duester. There are two locations for the Respite Program; The Children’s
Center, for children ages 1-9, and Parrish Health and Fitness Center for
children ages 10-18. Volunteers, including a registered nurse, are an
integral part of the program. Local community organizations, as well as
high school organizations, routinely offer support and volunteer their
time on a regular basis.
There has been a steady increase in attendance at the Respite Program over
the past few years, emphasizing the community need for such services.
“It also indicates that The Children’s Center is a safe and
reputable place that provides quality service,” said Duester. “Funds
from the Community Foundation for Brevard grant will be used to subsidize
651 hours of care over a six month period. This will allow 162 child visits
to the Respite Care program.”
In the United States today, there are approximately 65 million people caring
for family members at home, including children with disabilities. Respite
is the service most often requested by family caregivers, yet it is in
critically short supply, inaccessible, or unaffordable regardless of the
age or disability of the individual needing assistance.
Respite has been shown to help sustain family caregiver health and well-being,
reduce the likelihood of divorce and sustain marriage, avoid or delay
out-of-home placements, and reduce the likelihood of abuse and neglect,
according to ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center.
The Children’s Center is located at 5650 S. Washington Avenue in
Titusville. It houses five not-for-profit agencies which annually provide
services for more than 2,200 families. Through collaboration and coordination
of specialized services, it offers a continuum of care to all children,
regardless of ability or socioeconomic status.
For more information about the Respite Program or center, contact The Children’s
Center at 321-264-0855 or visit