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May 27th, 2015

FamilyHome – The Best Kept Secret

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard

By: Terral McBay

If Best Kept Secrets stay secret, they lose their value because no one knows about them.  One of the things we’ve found with FamilyHome is that few people know of this option for living in the community.  When we talk to family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, community partners, etc, about FamilyHome, we often receive responses similar to “Hey, that’s really cool; I’ve never heard of that before!”  Almost everyone has heard of foster care for children but very few people have heard of a similar, yet different in many ways, option for adults with disabilities.  To think that not all adults with disabilities live in group homes is often a new concept for people.  The fact that people don’t know much about FamilyHome tells us that it’s time for this secret to be revealed to the wider community.

The FamilyHome Program is beginning a new journey in recruiting FamilyHome Providers and Respite Providers.  We’re working to spread the word so that more and more people in our community know about this living option, not only for individuals looking for a home, but for families wanting to open their homes and lives to another person.  One of our primary goals is to recruit people who want to welcome someone into their home.  In addition to recruiting, we want to raise the profile of this program to the community; to let people know this is something they could be connected to in some way.  By doing this, if we gain more homes and family-like connections for individuals, we will be successful.  If we create awareness in the community that there are alternate living options for adults with disabilities, we will be successful.  If we help facilitate natural relationships and expand social networks for people who may typically only have paid relationships and supports, we will be VERY successful.

For as long as FamilyHome has been around at Extend-A-Family (22 years and counting), word of mouth has time and time again been our best recruitment tool.  It’s time for this secret to no longer be a secret.  Please help us in spreading the word about FamilyHome!