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Respite Services

Respite care provides short-term, temporary relief for families.

Families caring for youth with mental health and behavior challenges may benefit from space to refresh and reset. Respite services through Encourage Foster Care offer therapeutic care for youth and help caregivers stay healthy and ready to continue caring for their loved ones.

Respite care for youth may be planned in advance or used in response to emergency care needs. Respite care is provided in the home of a licensed Encourage foster family with locations in northeast and North Central Ohio counties.

Encourage’s respite services are offered in collaboration with Ohio Children’s Alliance. Services are available to youth enrolled in a CareSource health plan and who meet the following criteria:

  • State of Ohio resident under the age of 18

  • Has a qualifying mental health diagnosis

  • Is not in a foster care placement


If the youth doesn’t meet program criteria, but would benefit from similar services, consider contacting CareSource member services (per CareSource ID card) or your local county Family and Children First Council.

For additional information, please email

Request Respite Services

CareSource clients may submit their respite request online. All requests will be reviewed to determine eligibility within 24-48 hours of submission. Requests made on Friday will be responded to within 24 hours of the next business day.

What happens if an out-of-control, emotional or behavioral issue arises during respite at the foster home?

If a child experiences an out-of-control behavior while on respite, Encourage foster families are trained to use TBRI Empowering and Connecting strategies, as well as verbal de-escalation and interventions that the youth might have to help with any dysregulation. The foster family will reach out to the child’s caregiver if they feel further intervention by a professional is needed while on respite.

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide any behavioral health or crisis services from our foster care department for a child on respite. Please note that our families are not trained and cannot provide any physical restraints. Encourage foster families are directed to call the parent/guardian first, then the local crisis center or emergency room for mental health emergencies.

One family's experience with respite

“I was very impressed with the whole process. I felt heard, understood, and not judged by all involved throughout the intake, hand-off, and pick-up of my son. Communication with staff and the respite foster family was phenomenal. I’m planning on using the program again as needs arise. My son felt very safe and cared for while away from home.”

Encourage belongs to a family of ministries with Encompass Christian Counseling and Christian Children’s Home of Ohio. We are accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Children and Families and licensed by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

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