Respite services

Encourage is participating in a new respite care program that offers therapeutic relief and time-limited breaks to families and other caregivers in collaboration with Ohio Children’s Alliance.

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

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

Encourage’s respite 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.

Submit your respite request through the online form. 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.

For more information, please email us at

What do you know about foster care?

What do you know about foster care? And how do you know what you know? Sometimes we carry preconceived notions that are not as accurate as we first thought.

Foster care is complex. The youth being served have diverse needs. No two foster families are exactly the same. There are a variety of guidelines and structures you may have never heard of before. Some exist to provide safety for hurting kids. Others are a reminder that there’s room for improvement in the foster care system.

Take a look at these 20 foster care facts that most people don’t know.

What surprised you about foster care? What didn’t? Did the list spark more questions?

We’d love to be a resource for you as you consider becoming a foster parent. Connect with Heather today at 330.462.1118 or

We also invite you to join us for our next foster care info session on Monday, May 17, 6:30-8:30pm, at the YMCA in Ashland.