Most parents would agree with the sentiment: “Parenting is hard.” When a child has a physical, cognitive or sensory developmental disability, that “hard” job can become utterly overwhelming without adequate resources. In many cases, it’s a 24/7 responsibility that can leave parents feeling burned out, isolated and desperate.
Thankfully for families living in Larimer County, Respite Care, Inc. is there to help support them. This Fort Collins-based nonprofit provides skilled short-term care for children ages 6 months to 21 years who have a developmental disability. Respite Care, Inc. provides care before and after school, and on weekends and evenings. They also offer overnight care up to 14 days for vacations or emergencies. They strive to be a home away from home for kids with developmental disabilities. Through this essential service, they provide parents much needed time and space to recharge, enhancing the quality of life for the entire family.
Respite Care, Inc. was founded in 1981 by a small group of parents of children with disabilities. From those humble beginnings, Respite Care, Inc. grew to partner with local schools and sports teams for volunteer opportunities and expanded other opportunities for the children they serve. In 2004, they opened their 10,000 sq. ft. facility in Fort Collins. Now, nearly 40 years after its founding, the organization is led by Executive Director LeAnn Massey and supports over 160 Larimer County families with more than 59,000 hours of care annually.
Their spacious, inviting facility is a tremendous resource for supporting kids. It features a therapeutic garden, dining hall and many spaces for fun and creativity. Their space is a constant buzz of activity, with over 30 Child Care Specialists providing individualized care to their clients. Staff work with parents to establish individual goals for each child. Child Care Specialists and volunteers work with the kids to engage them in activities, promote their social-emotional competence and promote their school readiness. Respite Care, Inc. is one of only a handful of respite centers in the U.S. that provides 24/7 support, including overnight stays.
Respite Care, Inc. separates the kids in their care into three groups based on age: pebbles, rocks and boulders. Pebbles are the youngest at ages 6 months to school age, rocks are ages 6-12 years old and boulders are teenagers. Each age group has a home base area of the facility designed to fit their needs and provide stimulating care.
The best way to understand all the excellent work that happens at Respite Care, Inc. is to take a tour. Led by one of their volunteer Respite Ambassadors, you’ll meet kiddos and staff, and learn about the full range of services and enrichment activities they offer to the families they serve.
Respite Care, Inc. charges their families a minimal fee, an average of $4.50 per hour, and does not receive any state or federal funding. They depend on the support of their community to keep costs low for their families and to continue offering exceptional care. Elevations Foundation is proud to support Respite Care, Inc. Read about all the ways you can get involved with Respite Care, Inc., like becoming a volunteer, hosting a fundraiser or joining their staff.
Please donate to Elevations Foundation to support important community services like those provided by Respite Care, Inc.