Photo Caption: Photo taken at the Chelsea’s Place Family Building Blocks Relief Nursery in Salem.
Written by Melissa Duclos for The Children’s Institute.
Children’s Institute: Can you explain how Relief Nurseries, which are unique to Oregon, use a multidisciplinary approach to serve children and families?
Cara Copeland: Relief Nurseries have been in Oregon for just over 40 years. The core model relies on three things: a therapeutic classroom for children, home visiting for parents, and parent education. A lot of our children are behind developmentally, so we work one-on-one to make sure they’re ready for kindergarten, focusing on the social emotional development of kids ages 0–5. The home visiting and parent education provide tools and emotional support. Many Relief Nurseries also have other supports: they might have food and diapers available, or mental health, drug and alcohol counseling, or peer services.