GUIDING FAMILIES AND THEIR CHILDREN IMPACTED BY DISABILITY INTO A GROWING RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS
Welcome to the Bridge Disability Ministries page at Calvary Church Souderton! 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 for those with disabilities ages 5-35 who need more individual attention and a smaller classroom size. Our time together includes Bible stories, worship, music, gym activities, crafts, and connections with friends.
INCLUSION (BUDDY PROGRAM)
Inclusion is available Sundays mornings for children age 2 through grade 5. This program provides one-on-one support for students with disabilities enabling them to attend typical Sunday morning programming.
LINK & CONNECT
Link (ages 15 – 21) and Connect (ages 22 – 35) meet on alternating Wednesday evenings from September to May. These groups are for students who are able to participate independently and attend without support staff. The programs include worship and Bible study, hands-on activities and games, snacks, and gym and connection time with friends. Service projects and special events are held throughout the year.
November 20 Movie Night for Link & Connect; 6:45– 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 November 20
Respite is a three-hour program offered regularly to the parents and caregivers of children ages 5-14 who are affected by disabilities. The whole family benefits from Respite as caregivers replenish their emotional, physical, and relational health while their children enjoy a fun program with friends.
At our Souderton campus, Respite is held on scheduled Friday nights from 6:00 to 9:00pm.The evening includes gross and fine motor activities, crafts, music, bounce house, and a sensory space. 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.
Respite Schedule for Fall 2019:
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 Bridge is 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. This will allow us to dedicate time to you and your child as well as 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 is a time for us to get to know you better, not to judge you or your child. We understand that a child might 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 serve every child who 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 will try to help you find other appropriate and helpful resources.
+ HOW DO YOU DETERMINE IF A CHILD MAY ATTEND A PARTICULAR PROGRAM?
We have established criteria for each program that we offer, and a child must meet them 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 determine that a 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 attend at the campus where their child has been accepted. We have classroom ratios and staffing set up to accommodate your child. Our staff works hard at getting to know your child and develop a relationship with him/her. Moving between campuses is difficult for the child as well as the 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?
If your child is going to miss a program, as a courtesy to our volunteers, we ask 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 contact information so you will know whom you should call if your child cannot attend.
+ HOW DOES REGISTRATION WORK?
Once you have completed your Accommodation Assessment and interview with our staff, you will be sent a link each month to register your child.
+ WILL THERE BE A NURSE ON SITE?
Yes, a nurse is available to administer medications, assist in toileting if necessary, and care for any medical needs that might arise. If your child requires medication, please bring the medication in a Ziplock 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?
Any medications, epi-pens, inhalers, diapers, extra change of clothing, augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC), and any other adaptive equipment.
+ WHAT IF I CAN'T PICK UP MY CHILD AT 9PM?
The program ends promptly at 9:00PM. 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!