Purple Dream House: The Home Away From Home

Support Care Angels and Developing Australian Communities

Purple Dream House: Building a home away from home.

A disability respite house that specialises in supporting school age children is having a big impact on Brisbane’s northside, proving it really is possible to create a warm and inviting home away from home for young people with disabilities.

The Purple Dream House (PDH), located in Carseldine, has become a second home to a “family” of children and young adults who need the type of specialised support not usually found in traditional after-school and weekend care settings.

Support Care Angels (SCA) Founder, Kathy Facey said “When PDH was launched under the parent company of SCA, I had a vision of the Respite as short-term accommodation for elderly clients and adults with disability that provide personalised support as needed by each participant.”

“However, as years went by and more school-age children from nearby schools and young adults with disability came in as residents, Cathy White, the Company Manager of SCA, quickly realised the gap in the support structure and it didn’t take long for her to turn the direction of PDH as a respite home for these children and young adults as it is today, providing after-school and weekend care, as well as short-term overnight accommodation and holiday stay.”

“Cathy leads a solid team of office personnel and support workers, and they all work hard to make sure each resident receives the support they need. Their aim is to avoid the rigidity of more traditional care facilities and provide the children and young adults with a less formal setting where they can be themselves, make friends and feel at home,” she added.

Suzi Karim, Marketing Manager and Client Coordinator at SCA said “PDH’s priority is not only to provide quality and reliable support, but also to build connectivity between the children and staff, and amongst the residents.”

“Many children from the same school have now formed friendships during their after-school experience at PDH, something they had been unable to do while attending school with the same children during the day. Many children enjoy their experience at PDH so much, parents and support staff have difficulty getting them to leave when it is time to go home.”

Discussing her child’s change in attitude to respite since attending PDH, one mother said: “My daughter packs her bag straight away and gives me a big smile when I tell her she is going to PDH for respite. I don’t even have to convince her to go anymore.”

Parent confidence in their children’s wellbeing has grown to the point that many children who regularly attend after-school care now return for weekend support, overnight care and holiday stays.

“Our support workers keep the kids busy with activities and entertainment that promote independence, respect, creativity and practical thinking,” Kathy said. “We encourage their love for nature and animals, communication with other people and, most of all, show them how to recognise their own ‘enemies’, as in the things that may trigger their anxieties. We teach them to deal with their anxieties in a positive and safe way.”

Cathy said “PDH aims to make the child and young adult living with a disability to feel as much at home at their respite as they do in their own homes. While rest and relaxation activities such as movie sessions are available, other activities are provided in the home to learn life skills such as cooking, growing and picking vegetables as well as art.”

“Participants are also regularly taken on group outings to theme parks or 10 pin bowling alleys, or to local parks to enjoy the Queensland sunshine and play equipment, or fishing and picnics at local rivers and beaches.”

“PDH has capacity for additional participants and invites anyone with eligible loved-ones who would benefit from their services to contact Cathy and her team. However, a strict intake process is undertaken before new clients are offered a place to ensure PDH is the right fit.”

“We want to ensure all our children get along and that we don’t disrupt the calm, respectful and safe environment we have been careful to build.”

Support Care Angels are the Naming Sponsor for the Ask A NDIS Expert – Support Hub at the Brisbane Disability Connection Expo on 3rd and 4th March 2023 and Kathy and her dedicated team are sponsoring an information booth for people who are interested in their services. Don’t forget to register for the Brisbane Disability Expo on 3rd and 4th March 2023.

In the meantime, check out The Purple Dream House (http://www.purpledreamhouse.com) and Support Care Angel’s (http://www.supportcareangels.com) websites for more information about their services.

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