When you open your home to an adult in need… what you get back is immeasurable.
Everyone’s heard of foster children – children who live with supportive adults because their parents cannot or will not care for them. But did you know that sometimes adults need “foster care” too?
Who Needs This Type of Program?
Adults with mental or physical limitations need this type of program, many of whom are now living in nursing homes or institutions. We call these people “residents;” the people who provide homes are called “sponsors.”
Some residents are developmentally disabled: for example, they might have Down syndrome. Others are frail and elderly. And some are mentally ill.
What Kind of People Become Sponsors?
Some sponsors are married and others are single. Sponsors may work in blue collar or professional jobs – or they may not work at all. They can live in a home or apartment, and may be of any race or religion.
But all of the sponsors have some things in common.
They enjoy people and are good at working with them. And although nurses and teachers make especially good sponsors (as do people who have had a family member with special needs), people with any background can qualify it they are patient, tolerant, understanding, and able to set clear expectations.
Sponsors are committed to treating the resident like a member of their family, offering them long-term support. They have time to spend with the resident and enjoy providing structure and supervision. And they’re willing to include the resident in all the family’s normal activities.
Sponsors receive support, training, and guidance throughout the entire matching process. And after the match, social workers provide ongoing education, guidance, and assistance.
Why Do People Become Sponsors?
Some of the rewards are concrete; some are not.
People have personal reasons for being a sponsor. For example, some parents want their children to appreciate the differences, similarities and strengths of others. Others have religious reasons. And many retired people enjoy the companionship residents provide.
There is much personal satisfaction in contributing to the community and giving a resident a much better quality of life. If it weren’t for sponsors, most resident would be living in group homes and institutions. Each sponsor is paid a monthly fee for the care provided to the resident. The exact amount is determined based upon the level of care needed and other factors. Sponsors receive continuing education, the change to learn new skills, and the opportunity to share their time and talents with others.
To find out how you can become a sponsor and help others help themselves, please call:
Christina Sanchez, Supervisor, Adult Family Care Program Call: (262) 656-8420 Extension 162 Community Impact Program, Inc. 2106 63rd Street Kenosha, WI 53143
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