Posted by Lyle Goodin on Sep 06, 2018
This summer marked the 21st successful running of the Bowmanville Rotary Club's Summer Respite Care Program.  The Rotary Summer Respite Care Program is one of the Rotary Club of Bowmanville’s signature programs.  The Bowmanville Rotary Club has had a long history of providing support for children with special needs and their families.  Recognizing that families with special needs children deserve some respite, especially during the summer months when children are not in school, the Bowmanville Rotary Club offers its Summer Respite Care Program that provides home care for children with special needs.
The program began in 1998 with one Respite Care Provider and three families enrolled.  Over the past twenty one years it has grown to include between thirty-five to forty children and five Respite Care Providers.  The program involves one of the Club’s student Respite Care Providers spending one-on-one quality time with a special needs child and providing educational, social, and recreational activities appropriate for the child.  The Care Givers are equipped with a “toy box” of books, toys, games, and other activities designed to help entertain the children.  Using funds provided by the Rotary Club, they also participate in outings to Cedar Park, Joey’s Fun World, Municipal Swimming Pools, and other entertainment venues.
Program Supervisor Bonnie Seto (L) with Respite Care Givers (L to R) Courtney, Charlotte, Mackenzie (Program Coordinator), Laura, and Adrian
Not only does the Summer Respite Care Program provide respite for the families and quality care for the children, it also provides meaningful career-related summer jobs for the college and university students we hire.  This is truly a win-win-win situation.
                                                                 Courtney and Friend
The Summer Respite Care Program begins with a meet-and-greet week and then runs for ten weeks from late June to the end of August.  The Program is funded by the Rotary Club of Bowmanville and by a grant from Service Canada’s Student Summer Jobs Program.  A family may request preferred hours to meet their particular needs during the summer.  The level of support available depends upon the funding available; however, the Rotary Club strives to provide between four to eight hours of respite care per week per child at a nominal cost of two dollars per hour of care provided.
                                                             Adrian and Friend
                                                         Mackenzie and Friend
                                                       Charlotte and Friend