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Short breaks

Many families with children who may have learning needs, autism and physical disabilities benefit from regular opportunities for a break. We are seeking short break foster carers who can offer regular foster care for different children over weekends and school holidays. This ensures the child is cared for in a family setting and provides a consistent, lasting connection with a foster carer. It is a salaried scheme and means that a foster carer can provide consistent connection and support to a group of families and commit to the role fully. The children would be aged 6-18 and would have a range of needs. Short Breaks carers would need to provide up to 260 days of care in a year which would comprise of weekends, days in the week and during school holidays.

The Children with Disabilities Team identify children who need overnight short breaks to provide respite for themselves and their family. Many of the children have a mixture of health conditions and learning needs. Following careful matching, children usually stay with their carers for one weekend per month, but this can vary depending on the needs of the child and their family. This can also include holiday periods and weekdays. The Short Breaks carer is then matched up to multiple children and develops a pattern of regular stays to provide stability and routine for the children they care for.

What will I need to do?

As a Short Breaks foster carer, you will need to:

  • Show you have the commitment, patience and ability to care for children and young people with a range of disabilities and learning needs.
  • Support children and young people to transition between home and your care.
  • 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 using training and support from the fostering service.
  • Offer a safe and caring environment for a child.
  • Work positively with the child’s 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 experience of working directly with or caring for children and young people with disabilities and additional needs.
  • Commit to the agreed programme of support and be available as agreed.
  • Be open-minded and have the commitment to make a difference.

What support will I receive?

As a foster carer, you will receive: 

  • The support of a dedicated fostering social worker.
  • The support of a team of professionals who are working with the young people in your care and who can offer you advice and support.
  • Access to a full training programme, some of which will commence during your assessment period.
  • A weekly fee of £349.58 plus fostering allowances.
  • 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.