Friday, November 11, 2005

Support Staff.. A Valueable Resource

There is a perception that support staff or caregivers (or as my UK friends say “carers” – I love that) for the disabled are not as valuable as those who work in some other fields. The pay is generally low which does not necessarily increase a support staff’s sense of worth.

Finding appropriate staff is not easy partially because of the low pay and partially because it is harder work than one might think. When you do find a dedicated caregiver it makes so much difference for child/adult as well as the family.

  • They become best buddies with your child. Watching the relationship between them develop is great.

  • As the relationship builds the caregivers pride in the success and little humorous things your child may do is obvious.

  • When you are comfortable that a caregiver is responsible to take care of your child is it freeing to the parents. There is suddenly peace about taking time for the small pleasures most people take for granted (a bubble bath, routine medical or dental appointments for the parents, an occasional evening or lunch with one’s spouse, etc.).

Parenting Your Complex Child (AMACOM Books Spring 2006) will have information about hiring and training caregivers. It is an important part of parenting a complex child because you have to be away from your child at times. Even it is only occasional respite care having someone trained and available is vital.

Until tomorrow,
Peggy Lou

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