Crisis Respite Program for Children
Hospital Discharge Planning
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Crisis Respite Program for Children

Relief to refocus…relief to recover…

The Children's Crisis Respite Program was developed by the Nassau County Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities as part of an overall movement toward a community-based system of care for children and adolescents, and it is an integral part of the Emergency Psychiatric System of Nasssau County.

Our Purpose

The purpose of our program is to provide short-term residential care for young people in severe psychiatric crisis through the use of scattered-site crisis respite beds.

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is to maintain those at risk for psychiatric hospitalization in the community by organizing more appropriate resources.  The goal is to intervene in crisis situations and access a crisis respite bed in an effort towards crisis stabilization.

Our Goals

  • Avoid hospitalization or other overly restrictive placement by providing short-term residential alternatives
  • Provide structure and support for children and adolescents to facilitate symptom stabilization
  • Provide respite for other family members
  • Provide crisis assessment, individual planning and family needs assessment
  • Develop crisis solution plans and longer-term treatment plans by determining family strengths and community resources
  • Provide linkages to appropriate community mental health resources
  • Facilitate a smooth transition back to home


Nassau County residents under age 18 who have a willingness to participate in the program.

Intake Procedure

  • Referrals are accepted from any source and are screened by the Respite Coordinator, Nassau County Mobile Crisis Team or the child's treating psychiatrist.
  • The intake process provides the team with basic demographic information, relevant psychiatric history, current symptomology, medication status and medical alerts as well as the rational for crisis respite bed placement.
  • The team determines the most appropriate type of crisis bed relative to the assessment and provides information to the Children's Respite Coordinator.
  • The Respite Coordinator ensures a disposition plan to be implemented at the end of the placement period.  The maximum length of stay is 21 days.


There is no fee for the Children's Crisis Respite Program.

Our program is funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health, Mental retardation and Developmental Disabilities and operates under the auspices of the Nassau County Department of Mental Health.


Respite Coordinator
Sheri-Ann Best, CSW
Phone:  516-485-4300, ext. 1318
Fax:  516- 485-4486


16 Main Street
Hempstead, NY 11550