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Special needs mean special care

July 24, 2012

When Kate became a foster mother, she knew right away that she wanted to care for children with special needs. She has two young children who are medically fragile, and who need special care at all times.

When Kate needs time away from her children, it’s not as simple as calling a babysitter or asking a friend to stay with them for a few hours. As a foster parent, Kate is required to use caregivers who have been screened, and any care providers must be trained to meet her children’s specific medical needs.

For Kate, the Respite/Child Care program at Family Support Services is the resource that allows her to find the time she needs to take care of herself, and then come back to her children, ready to take care of them.

Respite caregivers spend time in Kate’s home with her children each week, and it is usually the only free time she has. She often schedules appointments and errands during her respite hours. Sometimes she takes a book, a pillow, and a blanket, visits a friend’s home and takes a nap. Catching up on sleep is a luxury for her, and makes all the difference when she returns home to her children.

Kate works hard at building a sense of community for her children. She wants them to be surrounded by people who cherish them, care for them, support them and understand them. She feels that respite has been an important part of this. Her Respite Care Providers from Family Support Services have been working with her for years, and have become a strong part of her family's community. The children love their respite provider, Morgan, and Kate hopes that the relationship will continue “forever.”

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