In Feb I started receiving 40 hours of free respite care each month from the San Diego YMCA Childcare Resource Services. This has been THE biggest blessing of this deployment. My provider comes to my home so now I don't have to cancel plans when Samantha gets sick or worry about her getting sick from other kids. Besides the 12-hour virus she got last week, these 3 months has been her healthiest span by far. So if you fall into any of these categories below, please read on...
San Diego County resident AND Military EFMP Category 4 or 5:
If you are in the Navy you may not have heard about this because it just began in January (not new to other branches). The Navy hadn't funded it because they didn't think enough families would participate, so this a pilot program. The YMCA has a year to get 50 Navy families actively utilizing this. Needless to say, I want anyone who can to join so that I can continue to receive services after this year! If you fall in this category email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will give you the incredible details and contact information. This program is almost too good to be true, but it IS true.
San Diego County resident & child with special needs.
The YMCA does have a civilian side, so this is not just for military families! I don't know the details, but I can still point you to who you need to talk to. It is some how connected with Regional Center.
Live in San San Diego, love kids, and are looking for a job.
The providers we get have 3 levels of experience: High school graduate, college graduate, and nursing degree. There is a base pay for each level, and then the provider gets $5 more an hour for each sibling. And they pay mileage.
Outside San Diego
I realize if you can't use this, you really don't want to hear about it, but I just want to encourage you that a program may exist in your area as well. If you have a special needs child, you are receiving some kind of service. Start asking around (doctors, nurses, school nurses, social workers, counselors, teachers, therapists). They may know of these programs because they have other clients/patients who are using these! Call your local regional center or state department of human services. And don't hesitate to check forums. If there is a resource in your city, it is very likely mentioned there.
If this post could help one family receive respite care, it would be worth it to me! I'm feeling very positive after listing the things this week that I must remember to be thankful for!