RCSA's emergency shelter – the Davidson Respite House – is Texas' first and only crisis facility dedicated to caring for children with disabilities. Children may be privately placed at the Davidson Respite House (DRH) by their family so they may attend to a crisis or enter a homeless shelter. Many of those in our care have been removed from their homes by the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS) as a result of abuse or neglect. To help ameliorate their pain and smooth their transition to our facility, the sixteen beds and four cribs at the Davidson Respite House are contained in beautiful, cheerful bedrooms filled with developmentally appropriate toys and colorful furnishings. Outside we offer a state-of-the-art adapted playground that can be used by children with even the most severe disabilities. The availability of specialized recreational equipment allows them – often for the first time in their lives – to swing and slide and play just like any other child.
Skilled caregivers not only feed and clothe the children they also share love and acceptance with them. To help ease their transition to our facility, their days at the Davidson Respite House are structured and busy. The mornings begin with the children and staff sharing a family style breakfast together. Afterwards, the children attend appropriate educational programs, based upon ability, either at or away from our facility. The evenings are devoted to homework, playing games and listening to bedtime stories. Staff works hard to make weekends and summer vacations especially fun, scheduling a continuous round of barbeques in the back yard, field trips to the zoo or an amusement park and dinner at a favorite restaurant. Although serving and strengthening the entire family unit is the primary goal of RCSA, emphasis also is placed on encouraging children with disabilities to have the desire and courage to participate in new activities, including those that may be considered routine for their non-disabled peers.
In order to accommodate varying, sometimes severe disability levels and the complex medical needs of the population we serve, RCSA has an on-site Medical Wellness Center. Through a partnership with CentroMed, the Medical Wellness Center is staffed by licensed healthcare professionals, who provide ongoing medical wellness services, e.g., physical exams, immunizations, medications, referrals to specialists, vision and hearing screenings, developmental assessments, physical assessments, and treat minor emergencies and illnesses as they occur.
The Davidson Respite House cares for children from birth to 17 years of age. The average length of stay for residents of the Davidson Respite House is 3-5 days for private placements and 90 days for children placed involuntarily by the DFPS. The shelter is open 365 days per year, 24-hours per day.