Offering respite care, protection and a safe refuge for vulnerable infants and children
One of our many stories
Lilian* was 35 weeks pregnant, homeless and alone. The father of her baby had abandoned them both, and her parents had refused to let her return home after she had been released from prison. With no one to turn to and a baby on the way, a social worker referred Lilian to Sanctuary Care a month after she gave birth to her daughter, Angela*, to seek short-term care for her baby so that she would be free to work. The goal was for Lilian to find work to clear her debt, save enough money to get a rental flat and afford infant care and necessities for Angela.
Baby Angela was placed with our short-term respite carer Charlene*. This helped to reduce Lilian’s worries about her baby’s well-being and allowed her to focus on her work and accommodation issues. Charlene also acted as a mentor to Lilian, lending her a listening ear to her struggles, working through solutions with her, guiding her on financial management and more. She found a job and also managed to apply for interim housing so that she and her little one would have a place to call home. Lilian also worked hard at her relationship with her parents and bit by bit, the family has started to mend fences.
And as for baby Angela? She has since grown into a chubby little angel who is generous with her smiles. She is sleeping and feeding well and has met her developmental milestones.
Sanctuary Care is a community respite care service by Boys’ Town to safeguard the welfare of vulnerable children. Boys’ Town Sanctuary Care takes an upstream approach by providing temporary care and shelter to infants and children up to the age of 8 from low income families who are facing acute crises but have no support system.
Families we provide respite care support to include single parents who are unable to seek medical treatment, employment or education because they lack a support system to help care for their child, abused women who are residing in crises shelters and working on multiple issues such as seeking employment and accommodation, families who have lost their home and have no immediate access to child safe accommodation and single parents who are simply overwhelmed by the multiple issues they are facing.
While the parents and their community workers work on resolving these issues, the children are placed in the loving care of our volunteer respite carers who ensure that they are well cared for and attend school regularly.
Through the extension of this temporary support, Boys’ Town Sanctuary Care hopes to keep families together and out of the child protection system in the long run.