The Government is today launching a campaign inviting Islanders to apply to become Specialist Short Break Carers for children with disabilities.
Specialist Short Break Carers provide one-to-one support for children with disabilities and complex needs by supporting them to develop life skills by taking part in social activities either in their own home, in their carers’ home, or in the community.
They also support the families of children with disabilities by providing them with a break from their caring responsibilities.
Foster Carer, Lynne Shaw, said: “I’d advise anyone who thinks they’ve got time to give families and children help to give it a go. It’s incredibly rewarding, and the families really appreciate what you do.”
Minister for Children and Housing, Deputy Jeremy Maçon, said: “Short Break Foster Carers provide invaluable support to children with complex needs, and their families. They give children with complex needs the change to experience new things, and develop their social and life skills.
“But they also give families a chance to step away from their caring responsibilities, spend time with their other children, and give them the breathing space they need to keep providing fantastic support.
“I’d encourage any interested Islanders to find out more, and to apply. You don’t need to be a specific type of person, or at a specific stage of life – you just need to have a commitment to supporting children and families, and some time to spare.”
Islanders can apply to be a Short Break Carer regardless of their age, background, ethnicity or marital status. Short Breaks can be organised around individuals’ existing employment and family commitments, and can be flexible.
Short Break Carers will receive training, support and guidance from an allocated social worker. They also receive a sessional allowance to enable them to provide high-quality experiences for the child they are caring for.
In return, Short Break Carers will need to:
Undergo an assessment and approval process
Complete training to ensure they are providing the right level of support
Engage in regular supervision, and work with the support team around the child
Short Break Carers may also need to provide personal care to children, as needed.
More information is available by calling (01534) 443970, or by visiting the Government of Jersey website.