Ashlee and Jennifer

About a year-and-a-half ago, Deb Kien’s family needed help — urgently. 

Deb and her husband Kenton have two teenage daughters, each with a developmental disability. The couple, who lives in Fort Assiniboine, Alberta, adopted Ashlee and Jennifer when the girls were just eight and nine days old.

Deb describes Ashlee, who is now 13, as “a bubbly kind of kid,” generous and kind-hearted. “Ashlee is into gaming, Facebook and soccer.” Jennifer is 16, and Deb says she’s empathetic and caring. “Jennifer is an artist. She lives and breathes anime; she paints, colours and draws.”

Ashlee and Jennifer are wonderful kids, but each faces serious challenges due to her disability.

Deb says both girls have difficulty expressing themselves. “Ashlee has trouble making and keeping friends … she knows right from wrong, but she’s impulsive. Jennifer has trouble reading social cues, so she also has difficulty maintaining friendships.”

Before joining Entrust, Ashlee and Jennifer each tried two other care facilities, but they weren’t the long-term solution the family needed. 

By the spring of 2015, the Kiens were running out of options. “The other places weren’t working out,” says Deb. “We were desperate for a place that could take Ashlee.”

That’s when Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) referred the Kiens to Entrust. “Overall, we were thinking ‘this might work,’” says Deb. “We were hopeful.”

Since they joined Entrust, Deb says the girls are finally getting the type of counselling they need. “The staff is following up on the counsellor’s recommendations, and we see changes from there.”

Deb feels Entrust is different from other care facilities because they adjust their approach when their clients’ behaviour changes. “They’ll get one thing corralled, and then something else comes up, so they adapt their programs.”

In addition to Entrust’s personalized approach, Deb appreciates that the 24-hour staff can handle the girls. “I feel comfortable with them there,” she says. “I admire that they can do this job for eight hours a day. So many kids need this kind of help.”