Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The Best Care
In just a few weeks, our statewide family support group, of which I am the president, will be holding its annual family retreat. This year we will be at the beach, and that always brings about double the attendees as usual. Our support group, which is funded completely by grants, is able to pay the full cost of the retreat, including hotel rooms and all meals for the families. In addition, we provide childcare services for the families while the parents are attending educational seminars.
The children for whom we provide childcare have significant disabilities. In addition to having deafblindness, most have other physical or intellectual disabilities. This year we have a lot of babies and young children signed up for childcare. Our wonderful childcare supervisor spends the 6 months before the retreat recruiting and training childcare workers as well as planning activities, room layouts, crafts, and an overall theme. It’s a huge job and our organization is very blessed to have someone so talented and committed, because the pay is minimal!
So where is all this leading? I would like your opinions. If you, as a parent of a child with significant disabilities, were to leave your child in the care of someone else – and that someone else was essentially a stranger to you – what would be your concerns? What questions would you have? What answers would you be expecting to make you feel comfortable leaving your child? What qualifications would you expect the childcare workers to have? What would be your top three most important things to you? Would YOU be comfortable leaving your child?