The Arc of Somerset County’s Family Support Program assists individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in their effort to remain together in their homes and communities. The home is typically the best environment for the individual so Family support is often defined as “whatever it takes” to help an individual stay in his/her natural home. Family involvement and empowerment are key in determining the needs of the individual or family. The Family support Coordinator works with the family to determine needs and assist with obtaining quality of life for the families and the child with a disability. Raising a child with intellectual and development disabilities can challenge a family’s ability to cope; and parents, siblings, caregivers and friends often feel overwhelmed. As individuals with disabilities have the best opportunity to grow and develop within a loving family environment, the Family Support Program is designed to keep families together.
Recently The Family Support program held their fifth annual Caring for Mothers and Others Day on May 5th 2012. Mothers and care givers enjoyed a full day of pampering and activities, including Zumba, beading, crafting, nutrition seminars and spirit counseling. The keynote speaker was Paula Marasco, Chairwoman of the Somerset county Commission on the Status of Women reflected on her experience of babysitting a child with special needs, Marasco remarked how the child influenced and continues to influence her outlook on life. She learned a new kind of love from the child who could not say her name. By sharing her story, Marasco was truly honoring the caregivers in attendance, applauding their compassion and never ending care and support for their loved one with a disability. The Arc of Somerset provided Respite Care for the children at the event so the caregivers could have a piece of mind. There were 42 venders, 10 Respite staff, 43 family members and 19 children.
Our heartfelt thanks to all our parents for your time, effort and love in providing for the needs of your children.