Janet Novak


Janet N’s mother remembers the changes that took place in their lives after Janet became sick. When it was clear to her mom that she wouldn’t be able to handle caring for Janet at home after one of Janet’s hospitalizations, the hospital staff who assisted her suggested that she contact Center for Social Change. This turned out to be a very significant recommendation, as Janet’s mom discovered when she went to meet with the agency. She remembers the kind and supportive manner in which staff at the agency interacted with her, answering her questions, and put her at ease. She visited some of the homes, and noted the kindness and sensitivity of staff in their support of the individuals in those homes. Everything, and everyone, seemed very nice to her mom, so she made the decision that this was where she wished for Janet to live.

Over time, her mom has seen Janet achieve increased independence in ways that she had not been sure would be achieved. Janet dresses herself, expresses her desires, takes her own shower, and loves to go grocery shopping with her mom. It gives Janet’s mom great joy to see how Janet and her housemates, “the girls”, interact so well with one another. Each of these small achievements contribute to Janet’s building an independent and satisfied life. It is not hard for a parent to identify the most significant characteristics of their children, and for Janet’s mom, there is no exception. When asked, Janet’s mom states, without hesitation, that it is Janet’s obvious happiness about which she is most proud. Janet expresses her happiness in many ways-in her happiness to see her mom, or to visit with her family on the holidays; in her clear enjoyment visiting those friends of her family who have known her and watched her progress over many years; in her simply sitting with mom at the kitchen table and talking, mother to daughter. And mom is certain that Janet loves living where she does-after each visit to mom’s home, Janet is always excited about going back to her CSC home.

It is a natural law, however, that a mother’s concerns for her daughter can never be completely alleviated. Despite mom’s clear satisfaction in Janet’s happiness and success, she ended our conversation by saying, “make sure you take good care of my daughter”. And, that is exactly what Center for Social Change plans to do.

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