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Breathing Space

The Breathing Space scheme provides short term emergency or respite arrangements for children and young people in the care of Warwickshire County Council who need foster care due to an unexpected breakdown in their current care arrangement. Breathing Space may also be used to offer respite to our Solo foster carers or give time to enable assessments and an appropriate foster carer to be found.

Due to their background, the needs of these young people may be higher than those of their peers. They may have had breakdowns in their foster care provision, been traumatised by previous experiences of abuse and neglect and have associated emotional, behavioural and attachment difficulties. The children or young people you will care for will have very specific or complex needs which may initially need a higher level of attention and supervision. They are amongst the most vulnerable and demanding and we are not able to place them alongside other children.

Breathing Space foster carers provide care to a child or young person for a maximum of 28 days. Each carer provides up to 41 weeks of foster care per year and are entitled to 1 week’s paid resting fee (at half pay) after each period of 28 days.

What will I need to do?

As a Breathing Space foster carer, you will need to:

  • Show you have the commitment, patience and ability to care for a child or young person.
  • Support children and young people to transition between carers.
  • Encourage and support them to access education and extra-curricular opportunities.
  • Recognise that behaviour is a form of communication and adapt the way you parent accordingly.
  • Offer a safe and caring environment for a child and help them maintain a relationship with their family and support networks.
  • Work with a core group of professionals who will support you to care for the child effectively.
  • Commit to developing your own knowledge and attend training.
  • Have significant experience of working directly with or caring for challenging young people who present a range of behaviours.
  • Be available full-time for the child or young person in your care.
  • Be open-minded and have the commitment to make a difference.

What support will I receive?

As a foster carer, you will receive: 

  • A weekly fee of £383.74 plus fostering allowances when working
  • The support of a dedicated fostering social worker and family support worker.
  • The support of a team of professionals who are working with the young person in your care and who can offer you one to one advice and support.
  • Access to a specialist training programme, some of which will start during your assessment period.
  • An opportunity to undertake a QCF Diploma for the Children’s Workforce.
  • Opportunities for peer support and networking.
  • Support from our in-house psychologist.
  • Access to 24-hour support via the foster care support line and emergency duty team.