Here are some of the common questions we receive at St. Mary’s Home:

How do children come to live at St. Mary’s Home?

Hospital discharge planners, physicians, community service boards and current residents’ families are all sources of referrals for the Home. Families also can self-refer to St. Mary’s.

How involved are families and guardians with their children?

Some families are very involved with the child and the Home, visiting frequently and participating in various activities. Some families may have to travel more than four hours and therefore don’t visit as frequently. Fewer than 20 percent of the residents remain in the care of Social Services.

What is the average length of stay for a resident at St. Mary’s Home?

Six to seven years.

How much physical therapy intervention do the children receive?

Physical therapy treatment/intervention is determined by the physical therapy evaluation at the time of admission, as well as annually with a physical therapy re-evaluation. Working within an interdisciplinary team approach, staff members regularly receive in-service training on daily activities that will enhance the child’s physical therapy program.

What type of education do the children receive?

St. Mary’s Home partners with Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs to provide specialized education to residents. SECEP functions as a regional public school serving Chesapeake, Franklin, Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Southampton, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. Through the REACH Program – Raising Expectations and Abilities for Children with Complex Health Needs – children at St. Mary’s receive high-quality education. The school principal, licensed special education teachers and teacher’s assistants have offices at the Home and teach children in classrooms on site. Some children ride school buses out to public schools in Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

What happens when children reach 21 and need to leave St. Mary’s Home?

The Home’s social workers work with parents and guardians on a placement plan beginning a few years before the child or young adult reaches 21. The plan involves the Community Services Board from the child’s place of residency and takes into account what resources are available in that area. Adult care facilities and group homes are possibilities. St. Mary’s Home also built The Albero House to care for adults.

If you have further questions, please contact us at (757) 622-2208.

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