“My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We have utilized the services of Home & Community Options for 3 of our children over the past 11 years. Respite provides a moment for parents to catch their breath. Raising Special Needs children is like being in a war zone. At one point, I was prepared to divorce my husband because I didn’t want him to have to endure this life. Above caring for our kids, HCO provides suggestions, resources, emotional support, and encouragement to the families. I fear we would no longer be together if we didn’t have the ongoing support for our children.
The consistency of staff is crucial to the success of my children. The adjustment period where trust and boundaries are established lasts between 4-8 weeks when a new staff begins. During this time, no new skills are being learned and there is often regression. I feel that this position used to be sought after, but it is now viewed as a low paying job that can be extremely difficult and has a lot of expectations. Currently, 2 of my children are not able to receive coverage that Winona County determined was appropriate. There aren’t enough applicants to meet the demand of those needing support.”