FAMILY PARTNERS PROGRAMME | Crossing Boundaries
In recent months our Family Partners Programme has expanded with the addition of therapists and social workers. This has enabled the start of the second Cross Care Team.
FPP Development Manager, David Bondy, shares the story of Dongdong.
Several months ago we came into contact with a rural family raising a child with Down syndrome.
Dongdong is a precious little boy and is responding well to both special education and therapy sessions that happen weekly at our FPP Family Services Centre.
Since the family are not residents of Changsha city, they are not able to participate in government-funded programmes and are grateful to receive our services.
Dongdong in special education class at FPP Services Centre.
During his initial assessment, it was clear that Dongdong had a protruding growth on his neck. His mother explained that this sometimes interferes with his swallowing and she has been concerned that it may be something serious that would require risky surgery. But not having the means or know-how to get it checked out, she has opted instead to wait and see.
In order to determine exactly what was happening with Dongdong, the FPP Cross Care Team that has been assigned to his case recommended that we provide the funding necessary to get this investigated.
To assist Dongdong’s mother with the often complicated medical system, our team also accompanied her and her son to the hospital. Thankfully, the outcome was that there were no major problems and nothing that needed to be addressed by surgery at this time. The relief on Dongdong’s mother’s face was palpable.
Cross Care Team includes a professional therapist, a social worker and a special education teacher. All members of the team work together to ensure that every area of concern is adequately addressed, and that the child and family receive optimal care.
Dongdong and his mother at a hospital waiting for a doctor’s appointment.
On the day of his doctor appointment, we also discovered that it is difficult for Dongdong and his mother to navigate the complex subway system in Changsha. She is from a smaller area and typically sticks with the bus even though it takes twice as long to come to the FPP Service Centre. The team has now devised a plan to help them take advantage of this public transit tool and cut their commute time in half.
It is a joy to be able to lighten the burdens of families such as these in any way we can!
Dongdong and his mother attending a FPP therapy session together.
Rural families have a different Hukou (household registration) than urban residents living in cities like Changsha. Resources for these families are limited; very few can receive adequate public education and medical welfare in their villages. To provide a better future for their children, rural families often choose to move away from the village to the city, even when that means having to pay for the benefits themselves. FPP works with families in rural areas like Dongdong’s family, where it is difficult to get access to medical benefits, especially for children with special needs.
Join us as a Family Partner to keep struggling families together!