What is Short Break Fostering
Short break foster care can be for a few hours, an overnight stay, a weekend or a full week.
The children and young people who need this care are being cared for at home by their own family.
Short Break Fostering gives both the child and their families a break.
We need short break foster carers who can provide:
- Care for a child with disabilities or complex needs
- Flexible support ranging from day care to overnight stays
- Care for a child with challenging behavioural needs
- Care for a child with nursing needs
- A home that could be made more accessible for children with mobility difficulties
- Care for children with sensory problems
- Care in a child’s own home
- Care as part of a team around the child
Is Short Break Fostering for you?
You can work and foster, but if you work full time it may limit the kinds of fostering you can do. You can foster if you are unemployed but when you start fostering, you will be classed as self-employed. The Inland Revenue gives generous tax benefits to foster carers and you may also qualify for some state benefits.
You do not need to own your own home or even have a spare bedroom if you are only interested in providing day care.
You will need a spare bedroom however if you want to provide short break care that includes overnight stays.
We will carry out an assessment and will consider your family background sympathetically. You may already have had some experience looking after children with disabilities or complex needs. This could be through bringing up your own family, working with children or voluntary work such as helping out at a playgroup or youth club.
The most important qualities we look for are that you can provide stability and security for a young person. We do not expect you to have all the answers and you will be provided with training and support to help you to become a Foster Carer. Having a criminal record won’t necessarily rule you out, however, if you have been convicted of violent or sexual offences, we will not be able to approve you as a Foster Carer.
Fostering is not something you can do in isolation as it will affect your family and your close friends. If you have children of your own, you must consider how they will respond to sharing you and your home. If you have a partner, fostering must be something you both want to do.
If you have worked in a health care background or think you have the special skills needed to care for a child with disabilities or complex needs, we want to hear from you.
What support will I receive?
We provide all of our foster carers with a full package of financial and professional support. We pay an allowance to cover the expenses of caring for the child or young person and the time you spend looking after them.
Allowances for short break care are paid per child and depends on the kind of fostering you do and the age and needs of the young person/s you care for.
All foster carers are provided with regular training to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of the children in their care. You will be invited to undertake a thorough training programme before you start to foster.
Our short break carers are supported by a specialist short break social worker and the Fostering Team which includes a dedicated trainer, a psychotherapist, resource workers and our recruitment and engagement officer who arranges foster carer support groups and events.
Our Foster Carers can contact someone on a 24-hour basis for support and advice. The child or young person you will be caring for will have additional health, educational, therapeutic or social needs and our foster carers can access support from a dedicated multi-disciplinary team, compromising of specialists from education and health.
Thinking of becoming a Short Break Carer?
The next step is to talk to our Fostering Service.
We will talk to you in more detail about how fostering works and ask you some questions about you, so we can help you decide what kind of fostering would be best for you.
You can contact us by calling our recruitment officer 0191 277 2430