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Encompass Recreation Services

Encompass Recreation (Respite) Services gives parents of children who have social, emotional, mental health and developmental challenges a much-needed break. Some children experience challenges so severe they cannot attend activities other children do. Parents find that no one wants to baby-sit or that potential babysitters don’t have the skill to care for their child.  Caring for a child takes time and energy.  It also requires support.  kidsLINK’s Encompass Recreation Services provides a fun-filled day of activities for children in a safe, caring and nurturing environment with professional supervision. Encompass Recreation Services was launched in 1999 as a non-government funded social enterprise that recognized the need for parents and guardians to have time to regroup and recuperate. kidsLINK initially financed the service through fees for service and donations, however, soon the fees for service were discontinued because they created too much of a hardship for families. In 2005, the Ontario Government acknowledged the need for respite care, and granted partial funding. Encompass Recreation Services was kidsLINK’s first venture based on a social enterprise model. A significant community need, no public funding, plus an entrepreneurial approach resulted in the introduction of this much-needed service for families with a child whose extreme need for constant supervision threatens to break the family apart. Respite Services struggled to break-even and balance the financial and social returns on investment. Mission won. Thanks to the social enterprise philosophy, Encompass Recreation Services is celebrating 12 years of serving families with a mixed revenue formula.Encompass Recreation Services includes two clubs that the children participate in: KidsKlub and Caroline’s Club.


KidsKlub serves families of children, aged 4 to12, who have moderate social, emotional and mental health challenges.

Caroline’s Club

Named after the Caroline Respite Centre, where Encompass Recreation Services is provided, Caroline’s Club welcomes families of children, aged 4 to 13, with developmental disabilities, who have been referred by a community service provider. These families experience stresses associated with caring for a child with chronic high needs.




How to sign up

Most children in Respite Services are enrolled through a referring agency.

Referring Agencies:

To KidsKlub

• Grand River Hospital
• Family and Children’s Services of Waterloo Region
• kidsLINK’s Child and Family Therapy Program
• Lutherwood and kidsLINK’s Joint Initiatives
• Partners Program
• Front Door

To Caroline’s Club:
• Developmental Services Access Centre
For more information on how you might become a referring agency, please contact kidsLINK.

For more information:

519-746-5437 ext. 136