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 Respite Services provides a fun-filled day of activities for children in a safe, caring and nurturing environment with professional supervision.Respite 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.Respite 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, Respite Services is celebrating 12 years of serving families with a mixed revenue formula.
Respite 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.
Named after the Caroline Respite Centre, where Respite 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.
• Grand River Hospital
To Caroline’s Club:
For more information: