Recognizing that parents who raise children with special needs (for example autism, developmental delay, serious illness or disease), need a break every once in awhile, SIRCH set up a “Volunteer Host Family Program”. It gave children with special needs the opportunity to stay for an overnight, weekend or longer in a warm family setting – really to many the host families became like extended family. It gave the parents (often single parents) an opportunity to … shop, sleep, catch up, visit. In addition, during the summer the Special Needs Program offered one-to-one workers to take children out, or do activities with them in their homes during the busy summer months.

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