The mission of the Northern Nevada RAVE Family Foundation (NNRFF) is to improve the well-being of Nevada families by providing respite to those who care for young and adult children with special needs, disabilities, or those in foster care. The NNRFF accomplishes this by training youth volunteers to care for these amazing children and by providing vouchers throughout Northern Nevada for families to choose appropriate respite options.
The Northern Nevada RAVE Family Foundation (R.A.V.E., an acronym for Respite And Volunteer Experiences) was established in October 1995 with the overall goal of child abuse and neglect prevention for children with special needs and/or disabilities through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the State of Nevada Department of Human Resources. The federal grant afforded RAVE three years of funding to establish an effective and viable program to provide center-based child care for children with disabilities. In 1998, RAVE became an independent non-profit organization and has since been providing respite care to Nevada families caring for young children with disabilities or special needs. Moreover, the Northern Nevada RAVE Family Foundation (NNRFF) was named “Agency of the Year 2009,” and the Executive Director, Korine Viehweg, was named, “Administrator of the Year 2014,” by the Human Services Network. In 2009 and 2013, the RAVE Family Center was the recipient of the “Outstanding Program” award by the Kristine Nagy-Johnson Awards of the CAN-Prevent Task Force. Most recently, the NNRFF was also the recipient of the “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Measures” award in 2015 by the Nevada Chapter Community Associations Institute (CAI Nevada), the Community Foundation of Western Nevada 100% Giving Board Award 2015, and the NNRFF was selected as one of six KOLO Cares Pillar Partners for 2016.
Despite the growing need, the availability of respite in Nevada continues to be limited. According to a 2010 online survey conducted by The ARC (Access to Respite Care) through ARCH National Respite Network Resource, nearly 5000 caregivers, “46% of parents/caregivers report that they have more caregiving responsibilities than they can handle.” Published in The Technical Assistance Center for Lifespan Respite (March 2015). Respite for Family Caregivers of Children and Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), Fact Sheet Number 62. While some may argue that parents should be responsible for caring for their children with special needs, the reality is that there is both an economic and health strain on these families given the additional care and medical and therapeutic attention their children require. In the same survey, up to 88% of caregivers report suffering from a combination of, “physical fatigue, emotional stress, and emotional guilt some or most of the time.” In effect, the health of these caregivers is greatly affected, which also often leads, unintentionally, to abuse and/or neglect to these children. Lastly, the survey also indicates that, “1 out of 5 families (20%) report that someone in the family had to quit their job to stay home and support the needs of their family member.” While these struggles may not always be visible to the greater community, they certainly take their toll on these families, both caregivers and children alike. Parents struggle to manage the time spent at therapy and doctors’ appointments, while also performing much of the therapy themselves, as much of the therapy is meant to “train” parents to do the work with their children at home. Likewise, children lose valuable play time as most of their free time is therapy-driven and their toys are carefully chosen to meet a therapeutic goal (sensory bins, fabric swing for sensory regulation, playdough to increase motor strength, etc.). When do these kids just get to play and have fun? The answer is at the RAVE. The place where parents get a break from their extra caregiving responsibilities and kids get to be kids, play and be a part of a community.
Northern Nevada RAVE Family Foundation (NNRFF, RAVE)
Physical Address: 6490 South McCarran Blvd. Unit #34, Reno, Nevada 89509
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 2072, Sparks, Nevada 89432