A program that aims to prevent child abuse and neglect by offering parents a short-term place to send their children is now open to the public.
KPC Respite Center, which closed for about nine months after its parent organization ran into financial trouble, is now accepting calls through its crisis line from the general public. It had opened in early February on a limited basis – largely by only accepting referrals from other agencies, including the El Paso County Department of Human Services.
A ribbon cutting celebrating the center’s opening will be held Thursday.
Capacity at the center will remain limited for the next couple weeks, said Gwen White, foster care program director for Lutheran Family Services, which agreed to bring the program back last year.
For now, the program’s capacity is four children at any one time. Once at full capacity, the program will be able to house 12 children at a time.
Already, demand has been high.
“It’s been busy over there,” White said.
The center serves as a place for parents to take their children when they need a break, or when they feel that they might hurt their kids. It’s viewed as a program to help prevent child abuse and neglect.
The center can take children for up to 72 hours while the parents cool off or seek help. It accepts children 6 years old or younger. Any pre-teen siblings of those children can also stay at the center.
The center’s phone number is 634-5439.