Happy Holidays Everyone!
AdaptAbilities is in its 11th year now and wow, what an amazing journey it has been! We have accomplished so much and it is important to acknowledge those who have helped us get to where we are today. Additionally, as we prepare for the hectic holiday season it is important to think about self-care.
We couldn't have done it without an amazing staff and management team that continue to work hard to support families who come to us looking for hope. We know parents reach breaking points, are emotionally exhausted, and often find themselves in despair – feeling like they cannot cope. Why we do what we do is simple; respite keeps children safe, helps families remain strong, and keeps kids out of government care.
Respite is defined as “temporary relief” from the challenges of caring for someone with a disability. Although respite is the basis of our services, we have a responsibility to do more. That’s why we support people to be included in community, to find friendship and of course, smile and have fun. Belonging is so important. Parents have peace of mind when they know their child is happy and making friends.
After 11 years, we are not slowing down and have much more to do. We are continuously looking at what we can do to help more individuals grow, succeed and belong – how we can help more families become stronger!
Our goal is to expand not only throughout Edmonton, but also, across Alberta. It is our greatest desire to become the organization synonymous with respite care in our province and I have no doubt that we will realize that goal.
Yes, our goals are lofty but from the day this organization started we have been listening to families and creating programs that meet their needs. That is the secret to our ongoing and future success.
I am excited to announce a couple of our upcoming projects and creative solutions to support more families:
Satellite Locations: Many families we support travel to McKernan for services, but transportation is a barrier. Our plan is to bring respite into families’ communities by utilizing existing community facilities. With this innovative solution we will create an environment that is accessible and inclusive.
Reducing Funding Barriers: There are many families in need who are not accessing government supports. We plan to bridge that gap by partnering with community organizations to provide services now while we assist families to take the necessary steps to access funding. This access barrier is extremely high in urban aboriginal, multicultural and low income mainstream families. 72% of all children in government care in Alberta are aboriginal and it’s time to focus on prevention.
We can’t do this alone and are looking for partners to help us reach our vision of inclusion, one person at a time. Our staff and community supporters are our families’ allies and ambassadors, creating a caring and community enriched life for their children. You too can be a part of this change.
On behalf of the entire team at AdaptAbilities, I want to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and happy 2016.
Founder & Executive Director
Alberta AdaptAbilities Association