A 24-year-old nonprofit that works to prevent child abuse and neglect and operates a respite center where frustrated parents can drop off their children has suspended its operations, citing funding problems.

No one from Family Connections could be reached for comment, but Jennifer Brown, spokeswoman for the El Paso County, said the organization's board planned to meet Friday night to discuss its next steps.

'They've been careful to say it's a temporary suspension of services, so it does sound like they want to reopen, ' Brown said.

Family Connections, which started in 1989, has operated several programs to improve people's parenting skills, strengthen families, prevent child abuse and neglect, and educate the public about Shaken Baby Syndrome.

In 2004, the organization opened its KPC Respite Center, where stressed parents on the verge of losing their cool could drop off their children for free care. The center also cared for children whose parents had appointments for critical services, such as medical appointments or employment counseling.

'We refer their services all the time to parents who might be in crisis, ' said Tracy Sellars, spokeswoman for CASA of the Pikes Peak Region. 'We can say it's a valuable resource in our community, and it's a shame. Even if it closes temporarily, that's unfortunate, for sure. '