A call for care: Not enough families to care for kids with complex needs
Heather Modlin says dozens of kids with complex needs are having trouble finding places to live. (Source CBC)
Heather Modlin says dozens of kids with complex needs are having trouble finding places to live. (CBC)
A non-profit organization that helps find homes for youth with complex needs in Newfoundland and Labrador says there are too many kids, and not enough families to care for them.
According to Heather Modlin, director of Key Assets NL, there are more resources now than in previous years, but there are still dozens of kids looking for homes.
“The common factor among all of them is that they require very special care with people who have an understanding of their previous experiences,” Modlin told CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show.
She said the youth range in age from infants to 20-year-olds, and the vast majority of them — about 80 or 90 per cent — live in the St. John’s area.
Key Assets is specifically geared towards young people with complex needs. Modlin said most of those needs stem from some sort of trauma, like abuse or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
Youth require full-time attention
According to Modlin, caring for these young people requires full-time attention.
But she added the organization is able to provide significant ongoing support — both financial and educational.
“The [caretakers] are not doing anything in isolation … there is considerable support around them all the time,” she said.
“We provide generous compensation, and that is to pay for needs of children, to compensate the people for the time they are investing.”
In the meantime, children who are still waiting to be placed live in residential care in staffed homes.
“Sadly, it’s not the kind of work that you meet your quota and then it ends,” she said.
“Situations continue to arise, families continue to struggle and children continue to need assistance.”
Key Assets is holding a public information session on Sept. 29 for families interested in learning more about how they can take in kids.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Edmonton and Area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network.