The Terrace and District Community Service Society (TDCSS) offers an incredibly wide range of services to clients of almost all ages: social clubs, counselling, housing and nutrition support, residential care and so much more. Jennifer Connor is a Junior Manager at TDCSS, which means she coordinates staff and clients in three homes in the region:
Caring for a child or youth with special needs is a full-time job, and every person offering this loving care deserves a break.
Children and youth with special needs can spend up to eight days each month in the TDCSS Children’s Respite Home, which gives parents and guardians a chance to recharge and gives children and youth an opportunity to learn and connect with peers.
“We teach essential life skills to empower these children and youth, so that when they grow up they’re able to live independently and take care of themselves,” Connor says.
The Cluster Program offers 24-hour assistance to adults with developmental disabilities, who need support with daily tasks but can maintain some independence. The program is offered in conjunction with Community Living British Columbia (CLBC).
Adults in the program live in their own private apartments (TDCSS currently has eight apartments in one building), with support staff in the building to provide assistance when needed and teach life skills.
“Many of our clients in the Cluster Program are young adults who have aged-out of youth services, but the program is open to all ages,” Connor says.
The TDCSS residential homes provide 24-hour, full assistance care to individuals with mental and cognitive disabilities. Clients with higher needs live there permanently, and receive around-the-clock support to live full, quality lives.
Referrals are always accepted
“I’ve been in this position for a year and a half (prior to that I was a Youth and Family Support Worker at TDCSS), and it’s been different every single day,” Connor says. “I get to talk to so many different people, and we’re always exchanging knowledge.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has added new challenges to TDCSS services, but Connor emphasizes that new clients are always welcome.
“We always accept new referrals, no matter what. It may take time to implement, but we’re upfront with our clients about our timelines. We don’t want to leave anyone behind.”