This is my blog so I’m going to vent here.  Yes, we do provide respite care  … but we ONLY provide such care for families we are working with extensively to help the parents transform their parenting approach so that their child feels safe and can make secure attachment.  In the interim, we work intensively with the child to help them learn respect for authority, how to regulate their emotions better, and accept the same parenting tools and techniques that his or her parents are learning and will employ in their own home.  Earlier this month, I received sixteen calls in one week seeking respite care.  Most of these families just want someone to take their “sick” child in and heal him.  They don’t want to look in the mirror and see what part of the equation THEY have in helping their child heal.  There are plenty of other respite facilities that will take in any child whose parents are paying their fee.  We are not interested in that at all.  This is a ministry and our focus is on helping the family to heal from the inside-out and that necessarily involves the parents working hard, too.
That being said, we put our money where our mouth is in hiring experts to conduct training seminars for the families in our surrounding communities.  We have one of the nation’s best respite provider — recommended by Nancy Thomas herself — scheduled to do a respite training on 09/15/2012.  I invited each of those 16 moms to the seminar, imploring them to bring a friend/neighbor/family member to be trained so that they can build up their own team.  Every one of them had an excuse.  We are just two people — and there are very few truly-qualified, worthwhile professional respite provides.  Most of those charge a lot of money for their services; and few families can afford them.  We want to equip families to HELP THEMSELVES … but we cannot do it when so many families refuse to do so.

Any mom of a RAD child should be able to see the value of having someone close to them trained in respite care as a critical part of their team, ready and willing to step in to help during times of crises or when the mom just needs a break.  It is deplorable that so many families are sitting back and waiting for others to step up and do all the work.  We have been doing respite or therapeutic foster care for catastrophically-effected children for more than a decade and *I* cannot wait to learn what wisdom Susan has to teach at the 09/15/2012 seminar!  She is a speaker, author, respite provider, counselor-candidate, and adoptive mom of a now-healed and thriving RAD child.

We can only help families who accept the offer and DO THEIR PART.  That includes building their own support team … and having a trained respite provider is one of the most critical members of that team.  We invite each of you to come and bring someone to be trained.  Learn more about respite care, what it is, what it is not, and how it should be done!