Family Respite Care focus of conference

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Being a parent can be a challenge for even the most patient of people.

Having a child in the home who has special needs can add to the stress and responsibility of parenting many times over, say trained respite providers.

In an effort to provide education and information to parents, care givers, professionals and others who work with children with disabilities, Family Respite Care Services Inc. is offering the 7th Annual Respite Care Conference on April 9.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Emmanuel Church, 4224 Whilden Court, Janesville. A diverse array of topics will include sessions on: Adverse Childhood Experiences, Social Stories and Visual Supports for Children with Autism, Raising a Thinking Child, CranialSacral Therapy, Trauma Informed Care, Challenging Behaviors, Recycled Art and Finding and Training Respite Care Workers in the Home.

Whitney Walraven, Executive Director of Family Respite Care Services Inc., said the support service serves all of Rock County.

“Our conference is for anyone who wants to be involved with respite care,” Walraven said.

That can be a parent, grandparent, teacher or other volunteer, for example.

Walraven said some families have a hard time reaching out for help, but they often need to do just that.

“I have a child with autism — I completely understand,” she said.

The conference serves as a training and educational experience for participants. FRCS wants to spread awareness of the therapeutic resources that are available.

Those interested in attending the conference are asked to register by March 30. The cost to attend for those receiving FRCS service programs who have completed the intake form is $27. Cost for students enrolled in college is $24. For general participants the cost is $42. Cost for same day registration is $47. The fee includes a catered lunch.

To register, go to: www.rockcountyrespite.org where forms are available.

FRCS also provides a monthly respite care night for families. In Beloit, that night is the first Friday of the month at Gaston Elementary School from 6-9 p.m. The next one is set for April 4 where children with disabilities can be cared for during the evening as well as their siblings who can engage in various activities. For more information, call 608-758-0956.

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