GUIDING FAMILIES AND THEIR CHILDREN IMPACTED BY DISABILITY INTO A GROWING RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS
Welcome to the Bridge Disability Ministries page at Calvary Church Quakertown! We’re glad you’ve stopped by to learn more about us. Our goal is to enable every child to attend our Bridge programs. If you're interested in your child joining our weekly programs, we’ll start with the following accommodation assessment. Please understand that we cannot take walk-ins due to the nature of our program.
To ensure that we can provide safe and adequate care for each individual, we require an accommodation assessment for each child as well as a 20 minute, 1:1 intake interview with a Bridge staff member prior to attending our programs. If it is determined that we are unable to provide suitable care for a child, we will need to decline acceptance.
Please Note: This form must be completed at a computer (not an iPad or smartphone.) In addition, it must be completed in one sitting. Please make sure you have at least 15 minutes to be able to complete the assessment. The information is only saved when you hit “submit.”
Our Sunday morning Venture ministry provides a safe environment in our separate setting classes for ages 3 – 35 during our 9AM service time in the Bridge wing. These classes are for students with disabilities who need more individual attention and a smaller classroom size. In Venture, the students have a time of connection with their friends, singing, a Bible lesson, hands-on activities and time in the gym or sensory room.
INCLUSION (BUDDY PROGRAM)
Inclusion provides eligible Bridge students with one-to-one support within our Calvary Kids programs and is available at both the 9:00AM and 10:30AM Sunday services.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT EVENTS ARE HOSTED AT OUR SOUDERTON CAMPUS
LINK & CONNECT
Link (ages 15 – 21) and Connect (ages 22 – 35) meet on alternating Wednesday evenings from September to May at our Souderton campus.These groups are for students with disabilities who are able to participate independently and attend without support staff. The programs include a time of connection, singing, Bible lessons, and hands-on activities and games geared toward each age group. Snacks in the café and time in the gym finish out our evenings together.
November 20 – Movie Night for Link & Connect; 6:45pm – 8:30pm
November 27 – Rise Against Hunger Family Service Project*
*All church family event; parents must participate with their child.
*RSVP required with Marie by Nov. 20
Respite is a three-hour program offered regularly to the parents and caregivers of children ages 3 - 12 who are affected by disabilities. We also have dates scheduled where siblings, in the same age range, can also attend. The whole family benefits from Respite as caregivers are able to replenish their emotional, physical, and relational health while their children enjoy a fun program with friends.
At our Quakertown campus, Respite is held on scheduled Sunday afternoons from 12:30 – 3:30PM. Activities include gym time, hands-on activities, music, games, and sensory room time. A pediatric nurse is on site to handle pertinent medical issues. The Respite program is staffed by trained volunteers. Class size is limited, and registration is required.
December 8 – Siblings are invited
MEET OUR TEAM
BRIDGE DISABILITY COORDINATOR
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
+ I'M INTERESTED IN ATTENDING A BRIDGE PROGRAM. WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?
We are happy to hear of your interest in our programs! You are welcome to call the church and speak to one of the program coordinators to see if we are a good fit for your child. After that, you will need to complete an Accommodation Assessment and have an intake interview with one of the coordinators.
+ WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE ASSSESSMENT AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO COMPLETE?
The Accommodation Assessment allows us to get to know your child better, determine placement, and develop a support plan. The information is kept confidential and is transmitted over a secure server. It will take about 15 minutes to complete and must be completed on a computer (not a phone or iPad).
+ CAN I VISIT A PROGRAM WITHOUT AN ASSESSMENT
We welcome visitors but ask that you make an appointment at least 48 hours in advance so we can be prepared to spend time with you and your child and so we can make our teachers aware that they will have a visitor in their classroom.
+ I'M NERVOUS ABOUT THE INTERVIEW. WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS A MELTDOWN DURING THAT TIME?
Please don’t be nervous! The interview a time for us to get to know you better, not to judge you or your child. We understand that a child will not be comfortable in a new environment and a meltdown may occur; this does not mean your child will not be able to attend. We look at a lot of factors for acceptance into our program.
+ CAN YOU ACCEPT EVERY STUDENT INTO YOUR PROGRAMS
As much as we would love to be able to serve every child that would like to attend our programs, we do have limitations. We want to be sure we can care for your child well. If we feel we cannot accommodate your child we try to help you find other resources that would be appropriate and helpful.
+ HOW DO YOU DETERMINE IF A CHILD MAY ATTEND A PARTICULAR PROGRAM?
We have criteria for each program that we run and a child must meet that criteria in order to attend. We also utilize the information from the assessment and our conversations with you to determine placement. Sometimes we accept a child on a trial basis to be sure we can safely accommodate him/her and that the placement is best for the child.
+ WHO IS TAKING CARE OF MY CHILD WHEN THEY ARE WITH YOU?
We run our programs solely with volunteers. Each person has been through an application and screening process. We have clearances on every volunteer over the age of 18 and they have been trained to work with our students in areas of disabilities and safety.
+ WHAT SAFETY MEASURES ARE IN PLACE FOR YOUR PROGRAM?
We have emergency information on file for every student in our program and have a paging system to reach you if needed. We monitor our hallways and have a security team that assists us as needed. Each child checks in at a computer station when they arrive and wears a name tag that has important information on it. We have a two-person rule so your child is never alone with one adult. Our staff has been trained in emergency procedures as well.
+ ONCE MY CHILD IS ENROLLED CAN I ATTEND A PROGRAM AT EITHER CAMPUS?
With the exception of our Wednesday night programming, we ask that a family attends at the campus they have been accepted at. We have classroom ratios and staffing set up to accommodate your child and our staff works toward developing a relationship with him/her. Moving between campuses is a change in environment and routine that is difficult for both the child and our staff.
+ MY CHILD HAS BEEN ACCEPTED INTO THE INCLUSION PROGRAM AND HAS A BUDDY. DO WE NEED TO NOTIFY ANYONE IF WE ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND ON ANY GIVEN DAY?
As a courtesy to our volunteers, we ask that if your child is going to miss a program that you let us know. Our buddies are dedicated to serving your child and plan their day around your attendance. They often also have families of their own and would appreciate knowing if you will not be attending on a given day. You will be given the information of who you need to contact if you cannot attend.
+ HOW DO I REGISTER MY CHILD FOR RESPITE?
Once you have a completed Accommodation Assessment in file, have had your intake interview with our staff, and have been accepted into our programs, you will be sent a link prior to a scheduled respite to register your child.
+ WHY IS THERE A NURSE AT RESPITE?
A nurse is available to assist in toileting if necessary, and care for any medical needs that might arise and to administer medications that may needed while your child is with us. If your child requires medication, please bring the medication in a zip lock bag marked with the child’s full name. Medications MUST be in their original prescription packaging.
+ IS THERE A COST?
The cost for each Respite event is $15 for one child and an extra $5 for each additional sibling with special needs.
+ DO YOU PROVIDE SNACKS?
No, we don’t offer snacks. We ask each family to bring their own snacks due to preferences and allergies. We are a nut-free environment and ask all that all families provide snacks that are nut-free. Snacks should be labeled with the child’s name.
+ WHAT SHOULD WE BRING TO RESPITE?
We ask that families bring any needed medications, epi-pens, inhalers that your child may need while with us. Also diapers, an extra change of clothing, augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC), and any other adaptive equipment are helpful to send with your child.
+ WHAT IF I CAN'T PICK UP MY CHILD AT 3:30?
The program ends promptly at 3:30pm. If there is a conflict we ask that you make arrangements to come early and let our staff know of this change. If someone other than you will be picking up your child, you will need to give us the full name of that person. This individual will be required to provide a valid driver’s license as proof of identification before we release your child. No exceptions!