Respite Programs

Are you the parent or caregiver for a child with a Serious Emotional Disorder (SED) between the ages of 4 and 18? Do you ever feel burnt out or wish you could have a bit of a break to focus on your own life?

The Respite Program provides monthly group recreational activities, which provide a time of positive peer interactions for the children, as well as individual respite. A child is matched with a trained Respite worker, who will go out with the child for positive, age-appropriate activities. These group and individual activities provide you as parent or caregiver the opportunity to take some time for yourself to focus on self-care (or errands, or whatever!) while your child goes out with a trained respite worker for fun and educational activities.

In addition, we offer our Teen Challenge program, for ages 14-18. This offers participants the opportunity to meet in dynamic weekly education groups to work through evidence-based life skills curricula; perform Community Service activities; and enjoy socialization in recreational events. Summer camp programs are available for enrolled members.


  • Individual hourly activities
  • Group recreational activities
  • Weekly structured life-skills education opportunities for 14-18 year olds via Teen Challenge [link]
  • Summer camp programs
  • Opportunities for self-care for you!

What is the program like?

Once enrolled, you can choose individual and/or group activities based on your situation. You can do whatever you want with your spare time while your child is out with a trained respite worker! Some activities are purely for fun, while others help your child learn life skills and socialization.

How do I participate?

Give us a call and we’ll introduce you to the program. Find out more information or register by calling 845-473-2500 x1324.

Juliann Simpson

Respite Program Manager

I am the Respite Program Manager at MHA Dutchess. I oversee hourly respite services, recreational respite, camp scholarships, the Teen Challenge Clubhouse Program, and the Young Adult Transition Program. Working with children and families has always been a big part of my life. It is who I am, it is my passion. I had my humble beginnings with MHA in 1995, when I joined the Respite Program team. The Respite Program was in its beginning stages, and seeing it grow to include our teen program, and now our young adult program has been very exciting. Over the years, my work has enabled me to be part of the lives of many special individuals, who received support services from MHA. I count it a privilege being a part of the families in Dutchess County and overseeing such a dedicated team that provide the direct services to those we serve. For me, my work is part of my ministry for this season in my life, and for this I am grateful.

Get in Touch

253 Mansion St Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


Ext 1324

How Can I Join?

Give us a call and we’ll introduce you to the program. Find out more information or register by calling 845-473-2500 x1324.

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