Family Partners Programme: Moving Up a Gear
In January 2019, ICC’s first Mobile Care Van hit the road and began serving our Family Partners Programme (FPP). The van, kindly donated by ICC supporters, is enabling the programme staff to reach out to families with special needs. Xiangxiang’s family who live in a remote area near Changsha is benefitting from this new service.
Seven-year-old Xiangxiang is a shy girl with an intellectual disability. She lives with her parents and grandparents and has a younger brother who is in first grade. Xiangxiang’s parents run a shop near their rented home. Sometimes, because both mum and dad are out at work, it is difficult for them to arrange childcare for their daughter.
When Xiangxiang was born, everything seemed fine. However, before reaching the age of two, Xiangxiang became seriously ill with flu and a prolonged fever which led to her being hospitalised in a local intensive care unit.
At first, Xiangxiang’s hearing and physical strength appeared to be normal for her age. But after a while, her development seemed to be slower compared to her peers. Up until she was six years old, her parents took her to several different hospitals and clinics for therapy. It was through a special education teacher that her father first heard about the Family Partners Programme.
In June 2018, Xiangxiang came to ICC’s Family Services Centre for an initial assessment. Since the family’s “Hukuo” (household registration in China) is not in Changsha, it would have been expensive for Xiangxiang to receive therapy at a local hospital, putting an immense strain on the family’s finances. However, by accessing ICC’s FPP, Xiangxiang was able to receive the care that she needed at no cost.
In just a short period, Xiangxiang’s interpersonal communication skills have improved significantly because of the help she has received. She is getting along better with the other children now. Encouraged by her progress, Xiangxiang’s mum has made extra efforts to spend time training her daughter and teaching her to do housework. Her father is involved too and reinforces Xiangxiang’s learning.