Relief Nurseries transform communities by strengthening families.


OARN supports, strengthens, and develops Oregon’s network of independent Relief Nurseries to maximize family resilience and prevent the abuse and neglect of young children.


For all children in Oregon to thrive in safe, nurturing, and stable families.

how we get there

Our network strives to keep families together, preventing child abuse and the unnecessary addition of even more children into an already overburdened foster care system. Read about our Logic Model here.

Relief Nursery Champions

Meet the community members who are advocating for Relief Nurseries throughout the state.

[Relief Nursery] Classroom services to help my 2-year-old have more social interaction and to reduce separation anxiety from me.
If I didn’t have the Relief Nursery there to guide me and have an ear to talk to I wouldn’t know where I would be with my family today.
[My Relief Nursery] really support my son with his big emotions. They always let me know what goes on and how he does in class. They are always providing the resources we need.

History of Relief Nurseries


In 1976, the women of the Junior League of Eugene created the first Relief Nursery in response to a growing crisis of child abuse and neglect. They began by providing respite care to a handful of children in a space donated by a faith community.


Relief Nursery hired Jean Phelps, and under her leadership, the Relief Nursery model developed and flourished.


The United States Office of Child Abuse and Neglect recognizes the Relief Nursery Model as an innovative and effective child abuse prevention program. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA) selects the Relief Nursery Alcohol and Drug Recover program as one of eight national programs to replicated.


Today, Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries represents 16 Relief Nurseries around the state.

Where we are headed

Our unique model transforms communities by keeping families together and we know more families in our state could use that support. By 2025 we plan to serve over 10,000 children in Relief Nurseries across the state. But we need your support