YOUR FIRST STAY
We’re here to help.
We look forward to welcoming you and your child to The Darling Home for Kids. It can be an anxious time for both parents and children, but our care team is here to help. If at any time you have questions, please feel free to contact the nursing staff at 905-878-7673 ext 1. We want a smooth transition into our program for your child and we will work with you to determine a plan that works best. That plan can include a meet and greet with the staff, Day Program, or even a visit during our respite camp so that your child can experience our programs first hand prior to their first overnight stay.
Preparing for A Respite Stay
The week prior to your child’s respite stay, you will be contacted by telephone by one of our nursing staff to review your child’s care needs and confirm your admission and discharge times. We ask that families return any telephone messages promptly. If we are unable to reach you and confirm your respite stay, your respite opportunity may be offered to another child on our wait list.
All clothing, equipment, and food items must be clearly labelled with your child’s name to help ensure your items do not have an extended respite stay with us!
Please ensure that you arrive at your scheduled admission and discharge time. Arriving early or late for admission may result in you and your child waiting until your scheduled time, or until other families’ scheduled admissions have been completed. If you need to reschedule your admission or discharge time, please contact us and we will do our best to try to accommodate your change.
For the health and safety of all who use our respite services, should your child exhibit symptoms of illness (fever, vomiting, diarrhea, congestion) your child will not be admitted into care and we will work with you to see if it is possible to reschedule your respite stay. Should your child exhibit these symptoms during the respite stay, you/your emergency contact will be called to take your child home. It is important when selecting an emergency contact that they be able to assume the care needs of your child in the event that they need to be discharged from care early.
Forms and Documentation
There are forms that need to be completed prior to each admission, and others that are completed annually. When you tour The Darling Home for Kids for the first time, you will receive hard copies of the required forms. All forms are available for download by visiting the Forms and Documentation section of our website.
All medication forms MUST match the prescription label. If your child has recently had a medication change and their dosage and frequency differ from the prescription bottle label, you will need to provide a physician’s note to confirm the change. This is required so that our care team can provide the best care possible to your child.
Frequently Asked Questions for New Respite Families
Can I call and receive updates on my child?
YES! Please feel free to call our staff team anytime (day or night) during your child’s stay. If you are prompted to leave a message, please do so. Our staff will check messages frequently and return calls as soon as possible. There are times when the kids are outside playing, in the hydrotherapy pool, or elbows deep in a craft, so please be patient.
Are visitors allowed during a respite stay?
We like parents and families to take a break, but we understand that there are times when you will want to have a visitor for your child. Please make arrangements with the care team in advance so that we can have your child ready for a visitor. Because our home is busy and filled with activity, we ask that no more than 3 visitors come to the Home at a time. Any visitors under the age of 12 require prior approval and must be closely supervised while on site.
What will my child do during their respite stay?
There are many activities that children will engage with during their respite stay. In most cases, children will benefit from at least one therapeutic program during their stay, including music therapy, art therapy, hydrotherapy, recreation therapy, or a visit from a therapy dog. In some instances, consent must be provided to engage in these programs.
Can I provide food for my child to eat?
YES! The Darling Home for Kids provides nutritious meals for our children, including snacks; however, we know that often nothing can compare to meals from home. You can feel free to bring prepared and pre-labelled meals for your child, or their favourite snacks. Parents are asked to supply any beverage containers (sippy cups, bottles, etc.) that may be specific to your child.
Will you contact me if my child’s status changes during their stay?
Absolutely. The care team at The Darling Home for Kids will notify you of any changes to your child’s health during their stay. It is important that we have up to date contact information on file so that we know how to reach you, or your emergency contact.
What if my child needs special accommodations for sleeping?
The Darling Home for Kids has a number of specialized sleep systems that your child can access during their stay. These systems include a hospital bed with side rails, a Gertie Crib for infants, a specialized Hannah Bed with side rails (used primarily to create a safe sleeping space for children with Angelman’s syndrome) and posey positioning wedges. During the admissions process you can work with staff to identify the right sleeping system for your child.
Watch The Blackburn Family prepare for Callum’s weekend respite stay at The Darling Home for Kids.
I feel kindred spirits as I walk past other mothers pushing wheelchairs, and I know that tired look in their eyes...And I realize we aren't alone in this. The support The Darling Home for Kids provides goes beyond nurses caring for special needs children. They save families.
Erin Gibson, Piper’s Mom