Families saddened WDEA program is stopping

DISAPPOINTED: Tania, Kahlia and David Hardy are sad WDEA will no longer continue its day services program.

DISAPPOINTED: Tania, Kahlia and David Hardy are sad WDEA will no longer continue its day services program.

THREE families who have used WDEA’s day services program for years have spoken of their disappointment that the initiative is stopping. 

In November WDEA Works announced it would cease to provide community day services from the end of the year for its 28 high-needs clients. 

The program provided social and community activities and supervision for disabled adults. 

David Hardy said there was no warning that the service his daughter Kahlia was engaged in was stopping.

“All the clients are uprooted and parents are stressed,” he said.

“Kahlia loves it here. It’s safe and the staff are absolutely amazing. She will now have her routine interrupted and her behaviour will change.”

Mr Hardy said Kahlia had been been attending the services for three years.

“Now she will have to resettle elsewhere,” he said. “It will set her back when she has come so far. It’s hard on everyone, I really feel for the staff too.”

Gwenda Townsend said her daughter Jodie was 41 and had been attending the program since she was 18 or 19. Jodie does not have a place yet at another service provider.

“We will have to find somewhere new to go,” she said.

“We are very disappointed. It will be a matter of seeing what’s available and what will suit. A transition to a new provider won’t be much fun. We didn’t see it coming. It was a shock for clients and staff. Jodie’s been in the group for so long, it will be hard to see them split up. We will manage, we will soldier on.”

Jenny Graham said she “couldn’t understand the decision” to cease services and said when she learnt her daughter Rachael would need to find a new provider she “burst into tears”. 

“The staff go above and beyond,” she said. “Rachael can’t understand it. She is sad. She will adapt to a new place, but routine for 10 years has been important.” 

WDEA Works chief executive Barrie Elvish said the decision to stop the program was due to it being financially unfeasible.