Parents shocked at respite loss
A PARENT says shutting down respite care services at the Red Cross-run Lady Lawley Cottage in Cottesloe takes away help for severely disabled children in WA.
Ten days ago, the Red Cross shocked parents when it sent emails saying it was cutting respite care services so it did not replicate the services of new providers.
Cottage client and parent Tina Edgar’s autistic sons, aged 20, 19 and 18, have being going to camps, classes and weekend trips, including regular card nights, run by the cottage for almost eight years.
“The five-day camps are heaven for us, when I do nothing then,” Mrs Edgar said.
The change could result in 87 staff losing their jobs, and affect about 80 families across Perth.
Mrs Edgar said other providers were often already stretched and did not organise the camps.
The Red Cross email said community services, including carer home visits, school and medical transport and swimming classes could stop in about four months, but the cottage would increase its in-house high-needs care providing parents with respite, especially at weekends.
Red Cross director Linda Crumlin said families would be supported through the change, including identifying new providers, and high-needs and short-stay services would stay at the cottage.