A four-part ecological model of community-focused therapeutic recreation and life skills services for children and youth with disabilities
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AIM: This article presents a four-part model of community-focused therapeutic recreation and life skills services for children's rehabilitation centres. METHOD AND RESULTS: The model is based on 15 years of clinical and management practice in a Canadian context combined with evidence from the literature on community-focused service delivery. The model incorporates an ecological approach and principles from models of therapeutic recreation, community capacity building, and health promotion, as well as client/family-centred care. The four pillars of the model reflect a set of integrated services and principles designed to support the participation of children and youth with disabilities in community activities. The pillars involve providing community outreach services, providing community development services, sharing physical and educational resources with community partners, and promoting the organization as a community facility that provides adapted physical space and specialized instruction. The lessons learned in implementing the model are discussed, including the importance of ensuring the sustainability of community recreation programmes. CONCLUSIONS: The model will be of use to managers and service organizations seeking to develop an integrated programme of community-focused therapeutic recreation and life skills services based on a collaborative capacity-building approach.
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