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The Children's Center Receives Funding for Respite Program

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