Family Respite Services supports during Covid-19 Emergency Response

The support for families through FRS is an essential service in our community. We are not closed and continue to be there for you. However, as recommended we have most of our staff working remotely and we have closed our main office to visitors during this emergency response. The best way for families and Direct Support Providers to contact Family Coordinators is through their email, but they will also be receiving their voice mail and returning calls. We want to be in contact with you. We ask that Direct Support Providers and families send in timesheets or invoices through email. Send them to

We know that this is a very stressful time for families and direct support providers. We continue to urge families to follow the guidelines provided by Public Health. Our request is that you refrain from having Direct Support Providers come into your home for three weeks if possible. The purpose of this is to minimize personal contact and risk of transmitting Covid-19 to families, children and direct support providers. Families may consider having a close family member support your child for a period of time.

We know that this is not possible for some families. For those families who continue to have someone coming into their home please check in with one another prior to have anyone in the home. On each visit, review whether anyone in the family, the direct support worker or people that live with either party have travelled, are in self-quarantine or are experiencing an symptoms that are associated with Covid-19. If any of these conditions are present then DO NOT go forward with the support. In addition, Direct Support Providers are urged to practice hand washing several times throughout the visit. If any family using in home support or Direct Support Providers who are actively working become affected by Covid-19 we need to know this information immediately.

We know that this will also create hardship for some Direct Support Providers. If you need information about emergency funds or Employment Insurance that are available through the federal government please reach out to us.

Throughout this period we want to urge everyone to stay connected with each other and with us, to believe that we will all get through this and taking these steps will help everyone in our community. We hope to see creative responses from families and Direct Support Providers about ways that you are maintaining connections and doing activities through on line and would love to share your stories! 

Informational web link regarding How to Self Monitor provided Public Health Ontario.

Family Respite Services Board of Directors

The Board of Directors for FRS has a diverse set of skills and background. 

President: Shawn Allen

Shawn has experience as a parent of a daughter with special needs.  He also brings community based experience from his work in law enforcement.

Vice President: Shawn Gaudette

Shawn has experience as a parent of a son with special needs.  He also brings experience as a teacher, working with children with differing abilities.  Shawn has also been actively involved in the I Can Bike program and the Pin Pals bowling program.

Treasurer: Tamara Tedeeva

Tamara has experience as an accountant in our community.

Justine Danford

Justine is a Children’s Services Worker and Youth Programming Coordinator at the Windsor Essex Children’s Aid Society.

Luann Kapasi

Luann is the parent of a son with disabilities.  Luann has expertise as a communications specialist.

Paulette Littlejohns

Paulette has experience in the field of Human Resources in our community.

Mike Martin

Mike has expertise in the field of Information Technology.

Janet Mullen

Janet is a Registered Nurse for 25 years and a parent of two children with special needs.

Danielle Poirier

Danielle is a lawyer in a Windsor law firm.  Danielle is also French speaking.

Barbara Sghaier

Barbara is the parent of a son with autism and experience as a mentor with other families.

Pam Skillings

Pam has many years of experience in Special Education and as a principal.  She also was involved in the Student Support initiative in our community to provide education and information for parents, educators and the community about children’s mental health.  Pam is active on several community boards of directors.

Catharine Shanahan (Executive Director)

Catharine has been with Family Respite Services since 1990.  Catharine is a Registered Social Worker.

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