|What is Respite Care?|
Respite care gives families temporary relief from the challenges of caring for a child with a developmental disability. Whether this relief is for a few hours, a day, a weekend or longer depends on the families needs.
Respite care aims to strengthen the family unit. The program allows families to rest, take a vacation, tend to life’s necessities, or deal with stressful situations such as illness, death or moving.
Respite care is not a luxury: it is essential for a family’s well-being. It can prevent parents from becoming so stressed and fatigued that they can no longer cope with the special needs of their child or respond to the needs of other family members.
|Why Respite Care?|
|To support children with special needs and their families.|
|To enable families to have options and choices when|
|making decisions for their children.|
|To promote awareness and acceptance of children with special needs|
|and their families within the community.|
|To encourage open and equal access to all community|
|resources and services.|
This comprehensive approach provides complementary learning opportunities and focuses on the development and functional use of age appropriate skills for each child.
|Benefits to the Child with Special Needs|
Respite care gives children with special needs an opportunity to participate in a wider range of experiences that are essential for development, such as:
|On-going relationships and social interaction outside the|
|Contact with other children who model age-appropriate|
|behaviours, in circumstances where the caregiver has children.|
|Growing independence through new learning experiences.|
|Inclusion in community activities.|
The Reach Group Respite program gives parents of children with developmental disabilities some much needed respite, while providing children with all the benefits of a positive group dynamic. The program encourages children’s social skills, facilitates friendships, promotes positive self-esteem and community awareness, while decreasing the possibility of isolation. In Group Respite children can enjoy sports, games, crafts, baking, field trips and other fun activities together.
When does the program run? friendshGroup Respite runs the second and forth Saturday of each month, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., giving each family a total of 11 hours of respite per month. The program is staffed with a program coordinator and 6 well-trained and experienced caregivers.
"Restoring Balance" by Melanie Reid, Manager of the Reach Respite program and Dawn Beazley Manager of the Reach Group Respite program (South Delta Leader newspaper 2009)
To access the respite or group respite program families must have a referral from their Ministry for Child and Family Development social worker.