Your child has passed the toddler stage … how did the baby grow so fast? Time flies by, and before you know it, you’ve got an adolescent on your hands! Our department of Family Services assists families with eligible children living at home during these years of rapid change. Services are designed to improve the quality of life for the entire family, to maintain each family’s right to identify its own needs, and to direct how supports are provided. The supports are as varied as the families we serve. Services and Supports include:
Service Coordination is provided to families who would benefit from ongoing help and support. Our Early Childhood Service Coordinator is knowledgeable about the special challenges of raising a child with developmental disabilities and provides assistance to families of children 3 – 7 years of age. Our Children’s Service Coordinator provides assistance to famililes of children 8-13 years of age.
Family Support Advisory Council
The Family Support Advisory Council (FSAC) consists of volunteer caregivers from the communities of Region VIII who have family members with a wide range of disabilities living at home. The council meets monthly to discuss issues confronting families like their own. They can offer suggestions, help to identify and prioritize local families’ support needs, and provide financial assistance. Financial assistance can be targeted for needs related to the individual with a disability as well as:
- Camperships: For summer camps and other structured summer time activities. some funding may be offerred, depending on availablility.
- YMCA Passes: Families may obtain quarterly passes to the Portsmouth YMCA free of charge.
- N.H. Family Support Conference: Financial assistance is available to families for attending. For more about this annual event, go to http://nhfsc.com/.
- Disability Related Expenses: Funds are available to assist families with expenses related to their loved one’s disability.
- Family Events: Quarterly social events where families can network while enjoying a fun outing. Included are a fall hayride and pumpkin picking and an evening of karaoke.
- Respitality: Primary caregivers get a break from the demands of daily routines in the comfort of a host hotel. Respitality has provided much-needed relief to more than 4,300 New Hampshire parents.
One Sky is fortunate to have guidance from the FSAC on our Board of Directors and our Strategic Planning Committees. The FSAC meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at One Sky’s office at 6:30 p.m.
In-Home Support Services
A consumer-directed service, this intensive home-based program helps children with developmental disabilities who have complex medical and behavioral needs. It is funded through Medicaid and enrollment is limited. To be eligible, a family must complete a state application, available through One Sky.
Environmental modifications consist of adaptations to the family’s home environment or vehicle to ensure access, health and safety for the individual with a disability and the caregiver.
Parent to Parent Connections
Through Parent to Parent Connections, One Sky helps families connect for mutual support, information and understanding. Often families of children who are newly diagnosed with a long-term disability benefit greatly from a connection with either a ‘veteran’ parent who can mentor them, or another parent in a similar situation, who can simply lend an understanding ear. One Sky seeks parent matches locally or by accessing a statewide database. Once connected, parents decide together how best to support each other.
To learn more about the above programs, please contact our Children’s Service Coordinator. Information may also be available in our Family Support Newsletter.
Respite Care provides families with short-term relief from the responsibilities of caring for a child living at home. Care may be provided in the home of the family or caregiver, or in the community. The number of respite hours varies depending on the level of complexity of the child’s care. Financial assistance is based on a sliding scale.
We encourage families to recruit their own providers, but will assist if necessary. We also link families so they may form their own support networks.
To learn more about respite care, please contact our Respite Coordinator.
What Family Support has done for me: Casey & Spenser’s story