REFERENCE GUIDE FOR FAMILIES
This Reference Guide is designed to offer parents, guardians, and caregivers information about the services provided by our agency, Starbright Children’s Development Centre.
We are a registered charitable non-profit organization and gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance provided by:
Starbright Children’s Development Centre (Central Okanagan Child Development Association) gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance provided by:
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development
- BC Early Hearing
- BC Gaming
- United Way of the Central & South Okanagan / Similkameen
- Central Okanagan Foundation
- Community Sponsors
- Private Foundations and Donors
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
We support the growth and development of children with exceptional developmental needs through early intervention services, and empower their families through information and education to meet the immediate, transitional, and long-term needs of their child.
Starbright Contact Information
Regular Hours of Operation:
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
Closed during School District 23 Winter Break
1546 Bernard Avenue,
Kelowna, BC V1Y 6R9
Main Telephone: (250) 763-5100
Fax: (250) 862-8433
Toll Free: 1-877-763-5100
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Who We Are
Starbright Service Delivery
Privacy and Confidentiality
Parent and Guardian Rights
Therapy and Programs
Who We Are
Established in 1966, our agency was known as the Okanagan Neurological Association (ONA) and later as the Central Okanagan Child Development Association (COCDA). We are a registered charitable non-profit organization with a 50+ year history of providing early intervention services. Today we are proud to be known as Starbright Children’s Development Centre. Our service area extends from Peachland to Oyama, British Columbia.
The mandate of Starbright Children’s Development Centre is to provide services for children with developmental special needs from birth to school age entry (with some age exceptions).
The provision of services to children with exceptional developmental needs and their families shall be based on the following beliefs:
• All children with exceptional development needs have the right to quality programs of intervention, which facilitate their physical, social, emotional and intellectual development.
• Intervention programs should be community based, readily accessible and developed to meet the individual child’s needs.
• Effective services focus on the child within the context of family and community.
• Early recognition and prompt intervention programs can prevent or reduce the consequences of disabling conditions, particularly in young children.
• Management of service delivery is best provided through a collaborative, interdisciplinary team effort that includes children, parents and professionals working in an atmosphere of equality and mutual respect.
Starbright Service Delivery
Starbright Referral Eligibility
Anyone may refer a child for services as long as the legal guardian has given verbal or written permission. Children must:
- be residents of British Columbia living in the Okanagan
- meet the age parameter of the service they require (see specific program of eligibility)
When we receive a referral, we will contact the parent/caregiver to request additional information on the child’s birth and developmental history and to have the consents signed that we require. Once this information is completed and returned to us, either on-line, by mail or hand-delivered directly to the Centre, we will assign the child’s referral to one of our multidisciplinary service teams. The team will review the information provided and assign a therapist or consultant to complete an initial consultation.
Please be informed that if your child is eligible for kindergarten entry this year, due to our wait list, Starbright will maybe not be able to provide the intervention needed within the eligible time frame. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the eligibility or service.
How We Work With Your Child
At the initial consultation we will provide information about our services and discuss your areas of concern and goals for your child. Together we will develop an action plan to address these needs. During your time with Starbright you will have a Primary Point of Contact who will be available to answer your questions. As changes occur, we will rely on you to let your Primary Point of Contact know about changes in your child or family’s needs.
Staff at Starbright Children’s Development Centre deliver services based on a family-centered model. This means that the family is the primary decision-maker for the child. We recognize that parents know their child best and that the family is the greatest resource in providing the best intervention. This is put into action through:
• Consideration of parents as key members of the intervention team
• Incorporating parent identified concerns, goals and priorities in the development of the support plan and targeted outcomes
• It is expected that a parent, guardian, or a primary caregiver will remain onsite when their child is receiving services, as they are an integral part of the team. Remaining on site provides an opportunity to communicate in regards to the child’s treatment plan and the skills to carry it forward.
• An exception to the onsite requirement for parents/caregiver is with the Autism Program. Parents/caregivers are not expected to remain for the time block of their child’s scheduled session. Behaviour Interventionists provide a summary of each session to the parent/caregiver at pick-up. Parents and caregivers are welcome to join a session and can schedule a time to do so at their convenience.
While visiting the Starbright Children’s Development Centre, all children who are not receiving services and are under the age of 10 must be accompanied and/or supervised by the parent, legal guardian or a designated caregiver. It is recognized that from time to time parents may need to bring along another child when attending the Centre for a session. No child may be left alone in the reception area. Program Support Staff located in, or adjacent to the reception area, are not authorized to provide child care.
Responsibility for Cancellations/Missed Appointments
You have the responsibility to advise Starbright staff if you are canceling an appointment. Please provide as much notice as possible if you are unable to keep an appointment.
You are responsible for notifying the Starbright staff member(s) working with your child if you, your child or any other family member in your home has had recent exposure to, or if they are experiencing symptoms of, flu or other illness, such as measles, chicken pox, scabies, or pink eye. A decision to continue or reschedule the session or home visit will be made. As our staff is in constant contact with other children and we do not wish to pass any illness to them, Starbright staff members also have the responsibility to cancel an appointment if they are ill.
If a family misses three appointments without cancellation or notice provided to our Centre, we will assume there is no longer an interest in services. A letter will be sent informing the family that the child will be discharged from their program and a new referral will be necessary to reactivate services.
Importance of Emergency Contact Information
The emergency contact information you have provided will be used to provide alternative care or transportation for your child should a need arise. It is very important that you advise the Centre when Emergency Contact information changes.
Program Equipment & Resources
Families are responsible for any equipment/material that is borrowed from our agency. Any material borrowed from the Centre must be returned within the stated loan period in its original condition. Each individual program will have their own resource materials for borrowing.
Individual programs will provide you with additional information regarding your role/responsibilities that may vary depending on the nature and delivery of the service.
When Centre Services are Delivered in the Home
When service is provided in the home, a parent or guardian over 19 years of age must be home and present in the room in order for our therapists or consultants to proceed.
Privacy & Confidentiality
Starbright Children’s Development Centre recognizes every individual’s right to the protection of confidential information. All information shared by clients and their families and all information in their written record is considered confidential. Client file information includes written, verbal, audio-visual, photographic and electronic data, all of which are stored in a secure location.
Starbright services are provided via a multidisciplinary team, thus information regarding your child will be shared with staff members on a team comprised of various disciplines.
You will be informed of and in agreement with any referrals to other programs within our agency as well as referrals to other agencies.
In order to ensure that information is released appropriately, when parents are separated or divorced, the Centre will require legal documentation (e.g. a legal document such as a custody agreement).
Information will only be shared with community partners listed on the Consent to Obtain/Release of Information form signed by the parent or legal guardian.
There is one exception to our confidentiality rule. If we have a concern regarding the child’s safety or well-being, we are bound by law to report it to the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
It is the policy of Starbright Children’s Development Centre to not allow spontaneous photos, video, or audio recording of employees or other clients. All photos, videos or audio recordings taken by a parent or guardian within an individual or group session must be pre-approved by the clinician or consultant conducting the session with the child. Parent or guardian permission is required for Starbright to use photos of clients in Starbright public awareness and fundraising publications such as a brochure, poster, or newspaper or for use during workshops and teaching/training sessions.
Parent and Guardian Rights
Starbright staff is required to ensure that clients and parents have been informed of their rights and responsibilities at the beginning of service, and at any time during service, upon request.
You have the right to:
• Refuse service or any aspect of service; however, our staff is obliged to advise you of any potential risks associated with refusal or discontinuation of service
• Receive or have access to relevant, timely information for decision-making
• Be informed of assessment tools and procedures that will be used
• Confidentiality and privacy of client information, including being asked to consent to the release of any information
• Freedom from any form of abuse, humiliation, neglect and financial or other exploitation
• Bring a language interpreter to meetings and therapy sessions should you have a need
• Be informed of any risks involved with treatment or intervention
• Express any cultural values, morals or religious beliefs that you feel should be noted by our staff that may affect delivery of service or development of individual programs
• Request information and support in connecting with other families and/or support systems, including legal, self-help, and advocacy supports
• Express concerns openly without fear of retaliation or jeopardizing services, and
• Have any concern regarding the any of the above stated rights investigated and resolved.
All persons with a concern or issue regarding the delivery of any aspect of services are encouraged to bring their concerns to the attention of any staff person, including the Operations Manager and the Executive Director. All families have the right to have an advocate assist them in resolving concerns. Staff will make every effort to satisfactorily address the concern or issue in a timely and effective manner.
Physical Therapy (birth to kindergarten eligibility)
Physical Therapists (PT) are registered with the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia. Physical Therapists use their knowledge of anatomy, neurology and physiology to promote physical development, mobility, and functional independence. This is addressed through everyday activities, play, positioning, handling and/or use of equipment. Physical Therapists work in partnership with families to meet the unique needs of the child and family. They may recommend specialized equipment such as standers, walkers, seating systems, and orthotics.
Physical Therapists strive to ensure children are active participants in their environments. They can also assist families in accessing community recreation programs, such as playground activities, swimming, gymnastics and horseback riding.
The H.A.T.R.C. Program, Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding, was first offered by our agency in 2003. It is a unique program in which a horse is used to deliver therapy. When the child is on horseback, the horse’s rhythmic impulses stimulate movement responses in the child. The program is offered to preschool and school age children and youth. Contact our Physical Therapy Team for more information.
Our Clinical Counselor provides counseling for children and families who are receiving services at our agency. Play therapy and TheraPlay © are used in working with the children within a family-centred approach. The Counselor also participates in parent education groups.
Occupational Therapy (OT) addresses both function and independence through skill development and by adaptation of activities, equipment, and the environment.
Occupational therapist focus on the areas of self-care (activities of daily living), productivity (learning and educational activities), and leisure (play and social interaction). Occupational Therapy also addresses the functional abilities required for daily living such as motor, sensory, cognition, and psychosocial performance areas.
Occupational Therapists have a special Interest In:
Children’s visual and perceptual skills: how they coordinate their eyes and hands, and how they manage the space around themselves. This includes how they process and respond to sensory information.
Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) strive to help each child become the best communicative partner he or she can be. The focus of therapy is to explore strategies to improve the child’s:
- Listening skills
- Understanding of spoken language
- Ability to make the mouth movements necessary for speech
- Ability to speak clearly
- Ability to use correct grammatical structures when speaking
- Use of body language, gestures, signs and/or pictures, if needed, to help express his or her needs and ideas, and
- Turn-taking and conversational skills that are crucial for playing and communicating effectively.
Starbright Children’s Development Centre partners with the BC Early Hearing Program to provide intervention for children identified with early hearing loss. Our Speech and Language Pathologists have received specialized training to provide services for children with cochlear implants.
In order to qualify for services through this program, children must be referred to us by BC Early Hearing. Contact our Speech Language Team for more information.
The Infant Development Program (IDP) is a program for infants and small children who are either at risk for developmental delay or who have been identified with developmental delays. A family-centered approach is used to encourage positive parent-child interactions and to facilitate the child’s progress. To help foster secure attachment and developmental accomplishments, parents are supported in recognizing their infant’s cues and in how to respond in ways that promote a sense of security in their infant.
The Supported Child Development Program (SCD) is intended for children who require extra support to be included in a community early child care centre. The completion of a Support Guide by our consultants, as well as evidence of a developmental delay or special need in physical, cognitive, communicative or social/emotional/behavioral areas is required for eligibility. Inclusive community child care settings can include group daycare programs, preschool programs, family daycare homes and out-of-school group programs.
The Supported Child Development Program:
- Assists families in finding child care settings
- Monitors child’s participation and consults as needed to help facilitate child’s inclusion
- Coordinates and consults with parents, child care staff and team members to develop individual program plans
- Assists child care workers to adapt and modify activities so as to include and work with the child within the community setting.
Supports may include one or more of the following:
- Child specific training
- Staff support
- Assessment, and
- Training and support for community child care staff.
Starbright Children’s Development Centre employs qualified individuals with appropriate training and/or experience to provide services within the various programs and therapies our Centre offers.
Therapeutic services and those provided through our Autism Program are provided primarily at our centre; however, exceptions can be made based on child or family circumstances. The needs of the child will determine which program services will be involved. As the needs of the child and family change, different programs may become involved.