| Jun 07, 2007

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Feature Article - 31, 2007

Respiteservices.com comes to Frontenac Addington

by Jeff Green

A program that is designed to provide relief for families caring for relatives with intellectual disabilities was launched this week in Sharbot Lake, eight months after being initiated in Kingston.

Respiteservices.com provides a way for workers at Community Living North Frontenac and Kingston (who now have offices hours at the RURAL VISIONS Centre in Sydenham), as well as those at 12 other agencies, including Pathways for Children and Youth, and Lennox and Addington Family and Children’s Services, to connect clients with people who are willing to provide respite care for their loved ones.

The service works sort of like an online dating service, connecting up people who need respite with caregivers.


Clients of any member agency providing the service may be eligible for funding to pay some of the costs for respite care.

According to Catharine Gibson, who has been co-ordinating the service out of the Community Living-Kingston Office under a Trillium grant since January, there are 93 families and 60 workers registered in Kingston thus far, and families have been able to find the services they need to make a difference in their lives either through contacting Gibson or directly through the respiteservices.com website.

“For years, workers at Community Living and other agencies have been asked to refer their families to people who can provide them with respite care, but have been unable to do so for liability reasons. Since this program is run through provincial ministries we are now able to make arms length referrals,” Gibson said, after the official Sharbot Lake launch of the service.

“Frontenac and Lennox and Addington are the first communities in Eastern Ontario to have this service,” Gibson added, “which is intended to be rolled out in all communities in the future.”

According to Barb Matson of Community Living North Frontenac, there are already many families in the county seeking service.

“What we need now are workers to come forward and provide it,” Matson said.

Respiteservices.com provides workshops and other training opportunities for respite care workers. They are looking for workers in Frontenac County who are willing to attend an orientation session, who have or can get a CPIC from their local OPP detachment, who can provide families with three references, and have effective communication skills with both verbal and non-verbal populations. A diploma, degree, or current enrolment in a relevant program is an asset but not a necessity.

As private contractors, respite workers can set their own hours and salary expectations. Typical wages range from $9 to $15 per hour.

For information about receiving or providing service, contact Catharine Gibson at 613-546-6613 ext. 373; email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or call Community Living-North Frontenac at 613-279-3731.

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