What is a Relief Nursery?

The Family Relief Nursery is one of 15 Relief Nurseries in the Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries (OARN.) Relief Nurseries provide comprehensive family support services in quality environments for families experiencing numerous stresses linked to abuse and neglect. Enrollment is voluntary and services include:

  1. Therapeutic Early Childhood Program classes and Home Visits for parents
  2. Parent education classes
  3. Respite Care
  4. Crisis response
  5. Home-based support and services
  6. Latino Outreach
  7. Resource referrals and advocacy services

The Relief Nursery model is based on nationally recognized standards for the best practices in early childhood education and family support. The nurseries connect with other services in the community to help families meet their various needs. The Nurseries are part of the Oregon Children’s Plan and work closely with programs such as Healthy Start, Early Intervention for special needs children, and Head Start to ensure children are getting health and education services they need to grow up healthy and prepared for school. Evaluation of Relief Nursery methods has shown that services are highly effective in preventing child abuse and keeping families together.


The Relief Nursery model seeks to stop the cycle of child abuse and neglect through prevention and early intervention that strengthens parents, builds successful and resilient children, and preserves families by offering comprehensive and integrated support services.

Since 1994, the Family Relief Nursery has been serving families in the greater Cottage Grove area. In 1993, members of the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Cottage Grove, Cottage Grove Healthcare Community, Relief Nursery of Eugene, local social service agencies, churches and community business leaders responded to two horrific cases of child abuse to bring Relief Nursery services to South Lane and North Douglas Counties. The Family Relief Nursery began serving children in August of 1994. Since then, hundreds of children and their families have received family strengthening services.

Substantial contributions from the Woodard Family Foundation, the Doyle & Donna Shepherd Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Ford Family Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Siuslaw Valley Bank, US Bank, and the McKay Foundation were instrumental in building our permanent site which opened its doors in 1997. Continued financial support form the State of Oregon, Oregon Early Learning Council, Lane Country Commission on Children and Families, City of Cottage Grove, Cottage Grove Rotary Club, Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon and numerous local businesses and individual donors.