The Respite and Recreation: An Innovative Recreation Service to Adopted Children with Special Needs


  • Heewon Yang



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Often, youth in the foster care system have traumatic experiences associated with abuse and separation from their biological family. These experiences may lead to emotional, psychological, and behavioral problems that challenge the new adoptive family dynamic. This article introduces the Respite and Recreation (R & R) program in a Midwestern area. R & R combines faculty, staff, and graduate students from a local University, local community resources, and staff from a local adoption agency to provide recreation, respite, and professional support services for children with special needs and their adoptive parents. The R & R program provides the adopted children with structured recreation programs for their growth, the parents with a break from stress, and volunteer students with opportunities to incorporate their academic learning into real life situations. Service learning programs such as the R & R also provide university faculty with excellent opportunities to conduct action research.






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