Respite Care Program
What Is The Respite Care Program?
Our Respite care program is based on the premise that families know their children best. To ensure that child and family preferences have been taken into consideration, we have recruited a group of caregivers who reflect the diversity of the families we serve.
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.
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 family unit.
- 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.
Group Respite Program:
Group Respite is an excellent option for families who would like their child’s respite to take place in a group environment. We currently offer two groups (one for ages 6-12 and the other for ages 13-19) which serve up to eighteen children/youth at one time.
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?
Group Respite runs on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This gives 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.
MCRD CYSN Social worker must refer for both respite and group respite.
Respite Care Program
To access the respite or group respite program families must have a referral from their Ministry for Child and Family Development social worker. For more information contact Respite Care Program Coordinator Melanie Reid or Group Respite Coordinator Denise Sheridan
Contact Respite Care Program Coordinator
N: Melanie Reid
P: (604) 946-6622, ext. 305
Contact Group Respite Coordinator
N: Denise Sheridan
P: (604) 946-6622 ext. 340
It’s summertime and the kids are out of school. But even though summer provides an array of opportunities for family bonding, it can be demanding on a parent’s time and energy and produce added tension and fatigue. When this happens, family time together can turn from joyful to stressful and end with everyone feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope.
Taking time for yourself as a parent is a valuable way to recharge physical and emotional energy.
For families who have children with special needs, having a break is especially important and essential to family well-being.