Paid Companions

Parents often feel uncomfortable about the constructed nature of relationships where the “friend” is paid. However, the experience of families who paid companions seems to be generally positive. Some companions transitioned into genuine friends. Even when this was not the case, the paid support person, who may be a temporary member of the network, may be able to facilitate friendships—especially if it is made clear that doing so is part of their job.

A paid companion will be with your young person in the wider community, helping them to learn the social skills of friendship when you are not present. They may note opportunities that you would not see. They may have important insights to offer. Spend time de-briefing with them when they return from outings. Seek out their suggestions.

In the earlier section on “Situational Challenges” you will find some qualities to look for in hiring companions–besides responsibility and good judgment.

Paid Companions can Provide Opportunities

“My son has an accompanier paid by the CLSC as part of the staff in its employment service. His goal is to accompany my son so he can make outings, socialize and develop his social skills and autonomy. These young accompaniers learn to know my son and to appreciate his true value. True, they are paid, but the situation evolves into a lasting link of friendship.”

Parent, QC

Share |
| Page Text Size + -