The Disability Services Program focuses on individual dignity and strengthening families for those dealing with developmental and emotional disabilities as well as mental health and substance abuse concerns. The primary purpose of the program is to provide parents, caregivers or school personnel quality services needed to prevent out-of-home placements of participants with developmental disabilities. The program services are educational, supportive and focus on retention of skills. Our services are available to all La Crosse area residents, irregardless of families' faith traditions.
Working here has and is every day so eye opening. My clients found a place in my heart and I’m forever grateful for that. A job that I think all should try, at least once.
~Ellen (Current Staff Member)
I am beyond grateful for the time I spent working at Catholic Charities, especially as a student. They were flexible with my hours so I could work around my busy class schedule and I gained valuable skills that have prepared me for my future professional life. However, it is most important for me to mention the spectacular staff and clients you will meet and work with. They truly make it a great place to work every day.
~Amanda (Former Staff Member)
Our son Frederick started attending the Catholic Charities' After School Program in the fall of 2010. He has attended the After School Program, Summer School and most recently the Work Program. Catholic Charities helped us continue to have Frederick live in our home. As a family, we were in desperate need of outside resources to help provide services for Frederick and respite for our family. Due to Frederick's behavioral and emotional needs, he was only able to attend school half days. His learning at school was minimal at best. He had a very strong need for social interactions, yet it was very difficult for him to sustain relationships.
Catholic Charities has provided an excellent environment for Frederick to learn social skills while interacting with other children who also have behavioral/emotional issues. The dedicated staff at Catholic Charities are very supportive of both Frederick and us. They work with us to target behaviors at home that need improvement. We get regular phone calls and texts with updates on Frederick's progress from staff. The staff holds Frederick accountable for any wrong behavior but does so in an atmosphere of forgiveness, correction and hope. Frederick knows the next day he will have a fresh start at Catholic Charities. Frederick is a happier and more respectful person than he was two years ago. He is much better at accepting responsibility for wrong behaviors and quicker to change disrespectful behaviors. Frederick cares about the people at Catholic Charities and knows they care about him. We are very thankful to Catholic Charities for the support they've given us. Catholic Charities is a place that looks for what services are needed in the community and then provides those services by hiring smart, excellent, caring staff who understand the people and families they are working with.
~Mother of Client
For families with children who have disabilities, Catholic Charities In-Home Support assists those children in remaining in their family home while giving parents the support they need, as well as engaging the children in individual programming to assist their needs. For our family, In-Home mentorship assists our son in developing control and comfort with new encounters and environments. They help guide him in transitioning from school to the community and home. By modelling and active guidance, the mentors at Catholic Charities help our child learn appropriate responses to new situations, develop self-care and hygiene routines, assist him in developing appropriate peer socialization, as well as engage him in playtime, community activities and behavioral management. It's a challenge for caregivers to maintain household and work responsibilities while attending to the structures and supervision their child requires. In-Home Support staff help both us and our child maintain the routine that is needed in his life. We can't praise the program high enough!
~Pamm and Ed