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Children's Service Society of Wisconsin is a private, not-for-profit agency serving children and families in Wisconsin since 1889. The mission of Children's Service Society is to build, sustain and enhance a nurturing environment for Wisconsin children.
Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin’s Volunteer Respite Program, a non-profit component of Children's Hospital and Health System, offers a much-needed break for parents of children with special needs by taking care of the children (including siblings) at day-long respite events on a regular basis. The program provides fun, safe, day camp-like events for children with special needs and their siblings. Large respite events are held at donated locations throughout the greater Milwaukee area as well as Racine County. The families, over half of whom are below the U.S. federal poverty level, are not charged for this day of care for their children. These events have approximately 60 children (about 2/3 with special needs and 1/3 sibs) and about 125 volunteers. Each child is matched for the day with 1 or 2 volunteers. There is a nursing staff of 5 that handle medications, medical issues, and diaper/bathroom needs as well as behavioral specialists who are paired with children whose needs require greater attention. Children attend the events from 9am-2pm where they participate in a variety of activities included arts and crafts, board games, basketball and other gym games, Bingo, face painting, movies, books, music, and more. Lunch and snacks are provided for volunteers and children. Currently there are over 500 children participating in the respite program.
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