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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Little Friends – Importance of family support


Little Friends is on a fiscal year that ends at the end of every June. Like every other business, we look at opportunities where we can improve what we do. One of the things we gave time and attention to was the service and support we offered to the families of those children and adults that we help.

For the past several years, we have been operating a Respite Family Services program. Most every Thursday, we offer to families (free of charge, I might add) about 2 ½ hours of time where we care for their children, including siblings. We also offer this service one Saturday morning per month. In doing this, we provide parents the opportunity to take care of things that maybe otherwise they wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so given their parental time demands.

If interested in this, please reach out to our Director of Respite Family Service, Becky Pundy, to learn more about how we can be of help.

While this service has been in place for a couple of years, some new initiatives are being implemented to help in other ways. First, in mid-April we established a Family Care Team, with the sole purpose of providing a single point of contact to help families find resources and supports that they may need for their loved ones. In just over three months, we’ve heard from over 400 families and schools asking questions and searching for additional support.

While we may not have the perfect solution, we can provide guidance on where to look if that is what you need. Please don’t hesitate to call Beth Praetz at (630) 355-6533 and she can be of help.

Starting at the end of July, we will be launching a new Family Support Network targeted at helping families get information and navigate the challenges associated with getting resources and help for children and adults with special needs. We are excited to create this new service and have this opportunity for families to connect with others dealing with similar challenges. I know from my own personal experience the value of being able to talk with other parents, as having a trusted resource is so important. If you have interest in learning more, please call our office and ask for Pat Loy. She is leading this initiative for Little Friends.

I anticipate that some of what we are starting will be just the beginning of services we can provide for families. Our goal is to facilitate the sharing of information and be a trusted resource for those who need our help. We are taking steps to make this happen and are committed to doing this in the time to come. If needed, I hope that we can be of help for you!

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Mike Briggs
Mike Briggshttp://littlefriendsinc.org
Mike Briggs is the President and CEO of Little Friends. Little Friends empowers clients with autism and other developmental disabilities to thrive in our community. Their groundbreaking programs and nationally-renowned staff provide lifelong opportunities for growth, so their clients can work, learn, play and experience the joy of life’s everyday moments.


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