Par­ents shocked at respite loss

Western Suburbs Weekly - - WesternOpinion - Jon Bas­sett

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.

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