Families have sometimes struggled with how to care for and support their children with disabilities. Systems have become a patchwork of funding streams, services, supports, providers, agencies, policies and practices, often with gaps and waiting lists.
As much as families love their children, for some, care at home can feel like more than they can manage. Parents have to balance things like other family members’ needs, keeping a job, or being able to afford housing, as well as services and supports for their child with disabilities. Struggling families are looking for answers.
Though things have improved considerably over the past 15 years, we are still far from an ideal world—one where families have access to the information, money, support, and services needed to keep their children healthy, safe, and happy at home.
As heartbreaking as it may be, parents have sometimes found that placing their child in an institution was the only option. Sometimes parents have seen institutions as providing special care they can’t provide at home. Whatever their reason, parents who have chosen to place their child in a facility have sincerely believed that under their particular circumstances, it was the best decision for their child and their family.
Other families are at risk –they are looking for out-of-home placement because they don’t have the supports they need to care for their child but don’t want to place their child in a facility.
EveryChild wants to show them another possibility—better support at home.
EveryChild can help
EveryChild’s goal is to help children with disabilities grow up in families instead of facilities. EveryChild guides parents through a sensitive evaluation process to explore:
- Can something at home be changed that would make it easier to care for their child?
- Are there services or supports available that could help?
- Does the child or family qualify for programs or funding that is newly available?
- Is there a person or organization that can help the child and family continue to be supported going forward?
The possibility of returning or staying home depends on many things:
- Whether there is adequate support for the child and family.
- Whether the family is willing to accept the extra people home and disruption in some routines that might come with support at home.
- Whether others including service providers and service coordinators involved with the child are committed to making it work.
EveryChild works closely with the family and others to find answers that will allow a family to feel confident that their child can successfully live at home.
When living at home is not possible, EveryChild works with families to explore the possibility of their child living with another family. See Support for Children to Live with Another Family.