With three energetic teenage boys, there’s rarely a dull moment in the Jansen household.
“Charlie is 17, Jack is 15 and Sam is 20. All three boys have special needs. We live together and I manage their funding as their agent,“ says their mum Helen. The boys receive Enhanced Individualised Funding to meet their individual support needs and to provide assistance with reaching their goals.
“They all have varying abilities and needs, so Enhanced Individualised Funding has worked wonderfully for everyone here as a family and as individuals, “explains Helen. “I have four part-time staff working consistently with the boys and four casual staff that come and go. I also bring in teacher aides during the school holidays. They have been a great resource, coming to our house during the holidays and providing a programme which is consistent with some of the things that are offered at school.”
As well as meeting their day-to-day support needs, the funding also enables the brothers to explore their individual interests both at home and in the community. “Every Friday, Jason (Jack’s support worker) comes to my house and we do boxing, go bowling and play card games. I’m pleased about that,“says Jack.
The eldest brother Sam, has a busy schedule too. “I really like helping out the kids and toddlers at the Baptist Church. The other thing I do is Special Olympics. I also like going to Zumba and aqua aerobics. I’ve also been doing drama, because I’m a drama queen,” adds Sam cheekily.
Seventeen-year old Charlie requires round-the-clock support. His main support worker Jared feels that Charlie is greatly benefiting from the extra attention he is able to receive thanks to Enhanced Individualised Funding. “Two on one support was something that greatly benefited Charlie and wasn’t something we could do before. Another thing I feel that greatly encouraged and supported Charlie is being able to employ teacher aides. Coming from a background where they know Charlie from school has benefited him greatly. Having two on one support, we’ve been able to do stuff like going to the Hamilton Zoo and going to another region and taking Charlie. Being able to do that now is great and seeing him in a new place and doing new things, it’s a big step for him,” says Jared.
The big difference for the boys’ father Dave is the quality of support staff the family is now able to attract and retain. “For me it’s like we are one great big family now . With our support people it doesn’t feel like they’re strangers coming in, they’re extra family in my mind. Everyone is familiar with the boys and how the household works. For me that’s the big difference,” says Dave Jansen.