About UCA Bears for CARE

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Our Mission:

Bears for CARE program is dedicated to providing central Arkansas families who care for children with special healthcare needs free and safe respite care opportunities that provide an environment that is fun and interactive.

Our Philosophy:

Bears for CARE program believes that UCA’s most valuable resources, their students and their community, can provide a truly unique respite care program that not only enhances the quality of life for families of children with special healthcare needs but also provides invaluable professional and personal development for UCA students.

Our Objectives:

The program will:

  • Give children special healthcare needs and their siblings fun, interactive activities
  • Give caregivers of children with special healthcare needs essential leisure time
  • Provide UCA students, especially students whose major program of study involves working with children with disabilities, an opportunity to gain experience with children with special healthcare needs, their families, and future professional peers in related fields
  • Provide UCA students an opportunity to experience the rewards and challenges caring for children with special healthcare needs
  • Provide UCA students with an appreciation for the overlapping roles that parents experience as family members, caregivers, and experts on their children’s special healthcare needs
  • Potentially provide, with IRB approval and informed consent of families, research opportunities that will help improve understanding and increase services for families of children with special healthcare needs
  • Provide a model program for partnerships between academic institutions and nonprofits in providing respite care for families of children with special healthcare needs and important skill-building experiences for students

As part of the
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