Glenna Greeting a Horse at a Therapy Farm
The Red Thread Promise believes care for children with disabilities should be accurate, professional, and show measureable results. As we all know, care is more than simply technical ability and high-quality education. Just as forming a relationship with your family doctor is important, so are the relationships forged between therapist and child; families and therapy center; and families, therapy centers and Jacob’s Fund.
Over the past four weeks, we have been visiting therapy farms in western Ohio, actively seeking a partnership in the Midwest to expand the reach of Jacob’s Fund. Through extensive research and site visits, we have discovered that finding AHA (American Hippotherapy Association) certified therapists and PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) certified farms is challenging, but not impossible.
Those certifications are very important to us.
· * AHA certification ensures that a licensed health professional—trained in hippotherapy—is delivering the precise therapy required for the kids we sponsor. The therapists’ knowledge and technique are keys to the child achieving results.
· * PATH certifies both therapy centers and therapists (after individuals have completed the AHA certification standards). The accreditation process is a peer review system in which trained volunteers visit and review centers in accordance with PATH Intl. standards, based on the following: administrative, facility, program and applicable special interest standards.
So, how will we know when we have found the therapy center that is the right partner for Jacob’s Fund? In addition to AHA and PATH certification, we consider the following:
· * Is this facility child-centered?
· * How often is hippotherapy offered?
· * How many children/adults receive hippotherapy each week?
· * Are families encouraged to have an ongoing relationship with the center beyond the hippotherapy appointment?
· * Do the staff and therapists want to form a relationship with Jacob’s Fund, involving visits to the farm to observe the children in hippotherapy as well as interviews with families, patients and the center’s personnel?
· * And, most importantly, do the kids and their families feel that this is the right fit for them?
The goal of Jacob’s Fund is to provide as many riderships to the children we serve as possible. As we move forward in our expansion of Jacob’s Fund, we continue to rely on folks like our Global Giving partners.
We’ve recently been made aware of a child in western Ohio who is a potential recipient of a ridership. That adds urgency to our search for an appropriate hippotherapy center in the Midwest. We’re moving into new, exciting territory. Please join us on this journey, one you’ll find fulfilling and rewarding.
Therapeutic Riding Instruction
Volunteers Preparing the Horses