Family Support Services

At times we all need a break. Family Services Perth-Huron can help you care for yourself or a dependent family member through services such as respite care, community participation supports (like recreation, volunteering, employment or in-home supports), residential supports, specialized services, person-directed planning and other supports. Supports are available for children and adults with special needs to become more involved in their communities.
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little girl with down syndrome smiling
Asian special needs boy and mother on a zoom call
Special needs girl playing with happy volunteer

Children’s Services

Special Services at Home (SSAH)

SSAH provides a variety of respite and in-home  support for families that care for an infant, child or youth (to age 18) with a developmental and/or physical disability. A trained service provider is carefully matched with each family. Each family has their own personal plan identifying areas in which they would like to see their child grow and develop. A service provider is contracted to help implement therapies that are overseen by professionals such as occupational and speech therapists or physiotherapists. They can also assist in including the young person in community activities and developing practical skills.  Flexible support options are available for routine home maintenance, respite and babysitting

Respite Care Co-ordination

Respite is a flexible, periodic, short-term break from caregiving to provide rest and renewal for the caregiving family. Caregivers of children under age 18 have time to recharge and the child experiences a positive new environment and new relationships. A respite service plan will be developed engaging and integrating other supports available. Funds include the Children’s Mental Health Fund, Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities Program, the Autism Spectrum Disorder Fund and the Respite Flex Fund.

Rotary Respite House

The Rotary Respite House is a joint venture between the Rotary Clubs of Perth County and Family Services Perth-Huron. Supports are offered for caregivers, for infants to youth, 18 years of age, with developmental needs along with mental health, physical or complex medical conditions. This warm, barrier-free home-like setting is located at 35 McManus Road, Stratford. Children enjoy activities such as games, movies and crafts. Outings may include swimming and trips to local parks. Respite is offered on weekends, during summer and March Break, as well as at Christmas. The $20.00/ 24 hours or $10.00/ day fee may be subsidized. Visit the Stratford Rotary Club – Rotary Respite House.  

Family Support Worker (FSW)

The Family Support Worker is supportive of families caring for a child with a developmental disability. It provides counselling supports related to the unique challenge of parenting a special needs child. Family life is full of challenges and opportunities. The role of supporting families caring for a child with a developmental disability is as varied as the families themselves. Through a supportive relationship families are listened to, unique needs are sorted out, problem solving occurs, solutions are sourced out and connections are made to much needed services.  

Buddy Up Social Skills Group

Buddy Up is a facilitated group experience for youth aged 11 to 14 on the Autism Spectrum, level 1 autism in diagnostic language. Young people learn and practice social skills with their peers. The youth will develop self-confidence, easing the transition from public school to high school. Please call the Co-ordinator to determine if your child would benefit from this group.

a down syndrome man preparing food

Adult Services

Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) determines eligibility and refers all adults with developmental disabilities to connect to services and supports funded through the Ministry of Social Services.

Adult Protective Services

Adults over age 18 who have a developmental disability and live independently in the community are eligible for the support of an Adult Protective Service Worker (APSW). The APSW provides co-ordination of services, advocacy, counselling and emotional support.

A support plan is developed based on the unique needs, choices and preferences of each adult, enabling them to learn and handle basic skills required for day-to-day living.

An APSW worker can arrange for needed supports and services such as medical or legal professionals and connect a person with helpful community resources. They work with the team involved to ensure supports are working well for the person.

APSW’s listen through difficult times to support the person to set their own goals and move towards living the life they want within the community

Foundations / Community Participations Supports

Young adults, aged 18 to 26, with disabilities build life skills and gain experience that will help them make important choices about their future. Each young person creates their own unique plan guiding their future.

Supported by a trained service provider, youth transition from high school into adult life pursuing goals like independent living, post-secondary education, making new social connections, recreation, work and volunteer opportunities. A literacy/numeracy instructor teaches practical skills, such as personal banking, grocery shopping and menu planning.