Advice for a Successful Year with your Care Professional
Some of the host families we work with have been in our program for 2 or 3 years. Some are total newbies. Nonetheless, all can benefit from a little advice to make their time with their care professional a success!
- Weekly meeting: set-up a time each week for both parents and the care professional to have a family meeting. It doesn’t have to be long; 15-30 minutes is sufficient. Kick the meeting off with some positives, goals reached, etc. before diving into any issues. It sets an expectation of professionalism and provides a structured time for any issues to be brought up.
- Set boundaries: be clear with rules and boundaries from the beginning, so that the care professional knows exactly what’s expected of them. If problems arise, address them right away, they can often stem from a misunderstanding.
- Get to know your care professional: welcome them into your family, it’s not just a job, integrate them into your family. Be sensitive to the fact that the care professionals are very bright and special in the sense that they have chosen to go far away from their families and friends to live a different culture, speaking a foreign language, supporting your family. Be aware that they are professionals, many have lived on their own for a few years, they will need some space. Be patient with them as they adjust!
- Communication is the key to happiness: be open, honest and respectful in your conversations with the care professionals. Communicate anything and everything, no matter how small you might think it is.
- Respect: try to develop a mutual understanding and respect for each other from the first day. You will be rewarded with a friendship and a wonderful support for your family.
- Utilise your relationship with your area director: they are there to support you and your care professional. Before the care professional arrives and during your time together. They are experienced in addressing issues, support you in achieving goals, and can also help you make sure that you have a successful match!