Respite Services

What is Respite?

footprints 4 autism respiteRespite (respite) n. = an interval of relief during a period of work

For parents, caregivers and families who have a child or children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, the demands of care can become overwhelming.

Given the particular nature of the needs of a child with Autism, many are reluctant to leave their child in someone else’s care.

This means the stress of assisting and nurturing a child with significant needs will continue to make family life challenging for many parents and siblings.

Respite care and programs offer a period of relief and rest for those in the caregiving role.

FOOTPRINTS Teens with Autism and Peers Social GroupThe ability to step back and away from the 24/7 responsibilities of caregiving – even for a few hours each month – can provide significant benefits for the entire family unit.

FOOTPRINTS is here to help provide reasonably priced, accessible respite care for families in Durham Region who have children diagnosed with Autism.

Respite care is provided by trained volunteers in a group setting under the guidance and supervision of a qualified Program Supervisor.


Sessions range from 3-hours to 4-hours (depending on the location and space availability) and are centrally located in Pickering and Whitby.

Respite offered to families with children 13 years of age and under:

Pickering Location

Respite is offered weekly at Dunbarton-Fairport United Church, 1066 Dunbarton Road, Pickering (Hwy #2 & Dixie Road).

Program Sessions are offered every Saturday from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Registration is required.

For more information about our Pickering location and/or to register your child, please contact the Program Supervisor at 905-420-0388 ex. 1.

Whitby Location

Respite is offered Saturdays at St. Mark’s United Church, 201 Centre Street South, Whitby (Dundas Street & Brock Street) from 9:00am – 12:00pm.

For more information about our Whitby location and/or to register your child, please contact the Program Supervisor at 905-420-0388 ex. 4.