When I first started at Help Me Grow Utah, I had NO idea what respite care was. I knew what the word "respite" meant (to take a break from something) but what did that have to do with child care? From the calls I started to take, I soon learned that this is a very frequently requested resource. If you're a parent with a child with special needs, you know how important good respite resources are. One such resource is Friday's Kids.
From their website: Friday's Kids Respite was co-founded in 2001 by Diane McNeill and Kimber Dower. Diane McNeill's second child was born in 1990 with Down syndrome. Diane’s son had multiple surgeries during his early years, so Diane was aware of the stress many families of children with special needs experience. After her son gained his strength, Diane searched in the community for recreational programs that her son could participate in, but found none because he needed one-on-one supervision. While researching programs, Diane met Kimber over the phone.
In 2001, Kimber Dower was employed as an occupational therapist at The Utah Valley Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Orem, and witnessed first-hand the extensive stress families of children with special needs were experiencing. Kimber, in the past, had interned at a respite service in Texas and suggested the two collaborate to offer a similar relief service in Utah County. Friday's Kids was born in 2001 with the goal to provide relief to families and, at the same time, provide a safe, fun recreational environment for the children.
Since 2001, they have expanded to Orem, Lehi, Salem and St. George Utah. Their new site in St. George is opening in February!! if you know any families in that area who need to know about this service, let them know! Visit their website to find out more about their location!