November 16, 2023
This webinar was cohosted by ARCH and the BREAK Exchange.
Family Respite Services (FRS) in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, is a community organization that works with families caring for children with disabilities to provide a short break for parents and the child. Their goal is to help children with disabilities, including those with autism and mental health issues, to have a valued role and participate in the community. The short break provides an opportunity for the child/youth to develop connections with others in the community, have fun, and nurture relationships with friends, while also supporting the whole family. FRS’s person and family-centered services provide caregiver relief through a spectrum of services in their homes, in the community, and in agency-staffed homes or community programs. They recently developed a Respitality (Respite + Hospitality = RESPITALITY) program to support families while also helping to rebuild the hospitality sector across Windsor and Essex County.
The presenters provided a profile of their wide range of services as well as the philosophy that guides their work: Each child has gifts, can contribute to, and is a valued member of a community. Furthermore, FRS maintains that people with disabilities are an important part of the community and belong in our neighborhoods.
Cathy Shanahan and Susan McKee, Family Respite Services, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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