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How Direct Support is more than just support

How Direct Support is more than just support

While many of our blog posts tend to be about our Community Development team moving and shaking throughout Waterloo Region, we have some pretty incredible things going on behind the scenes.

For example, one of the biggest roles Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region fills in our community is resource navigation. Our Coordinator team, who serve people and families accessing Special Services at Home, Passport and FamilyHome services, help navigate and support all that our community has to offer.

One way that families use their Special Services at Home (SSAH) funding, is through hiring a Direct Support Person through Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region. Something that makes EAFWR unique is the vast network of trained Direct Support People who provide support tailored to you and your family’s needs. A Direct Support Person can play a variety of roles in a family’s life, from helping children access community and recreational activities, to providing short breaks for the parents.

For Wanda, a single mother of four children, it was important for her son Travis to have a male role-model that he could look up to. The hope was that a Direct Support Person could provide one-to-one attention for Travis, so that Wanda could spend more focused time with Travis’ three siblings. Even more, the focus of the match was to help Travis develop his social skills while doing fun activities in the Kitchener community.

Through Travis’ Support Coordinator at EAFWR, Travis met and matched with Tyler. Tyler, a Direct Support Person, seemed like he would be a good fit. Like Travis, Tyler enjoyed playing board games, and knew how to do all sorts of neat magic tricks – all things Travis  enjoyed. When they first met, Travis and Tyler bonded immediately. Showing off his video games and action figures, the match was off to a great start!

Tyler and Travis now meet for four hours each week, spending time together and enjoying each other’s company. Connecting back with Travis’ Support Coordinator, Wanda noted, “what stood out to me was how they connected so quickly with one another. Travis developed an instant trust with Tyler and is super excited for all their time together.”

Tyler and Travis have explored many different places together, including board game cafes, Grand River Conservation Areas, and they even went to Comic Con together this past year.

Special Services at Home funding has provided this family with an incredible relationship, an opportunity to have new experiences, and a sense of belonging in their community.

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