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Respite Care, page 2

Raising kids is a full time job, and even the best parents sometimes need a break from their children. If you have young ones at home, you can probably relate to parents who consider paying a babysitter not only for the rare movie or dinner out, but maybe just to run errands and shop for groceries in peace. But for adults who care for foster children, or who adopt kids with special needs, finding a babysitter can be tough. Dela Marie Marshall says when she adopted five-year-old Giovanni and three-year-old Ronnell, she couldn't just leave them with anybody, like a neighborhood teenager...

Marshall: The oldest one was a handful. I mean, if you wanted to see Rosemary's Baby, oh yeah, that was definitely the demon seed. You don't want to label your kids but you know that they got issues. Initially he would lash out and become angry over stuff...you'd be like, get a life...I mean, come on. Or you know with a tantrum, over something that you would be like, this is normal? No child should be this upset.

To address that concern, many counties and adoption agencies provide respite care to foster parents and parents who adopt children with special needs. Carrie Dennis coordinates respite care for Northeast Ohio Adoption Services in Warren, and says respite care is critical for the well being of these families...

Dennis: The main goal is to be able to prevent abuse and/or neglect. A lot of time, when parents adopt, they're adopting a special needs child, which means that they are of an older age, and may have sever problems, or they've been severely abused, emotionally, physically, and then they have some behavioral problems as well. So we're wanting to provide the respite for them so that they will not be put into a position where they're so frustrated and angry that they end up redoing it to this child again.


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