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Meet some of our children waiting on a short break

The Short Breaks service urgently require carers to provide a  short break for  a number of children.

(*Please note names  have been changed to protect identity & preserve the anonymity of the child/ young person)

Meet Sam 

 Sam is 14 years old and has a diagnosis of Autism and chronic mental health needs. Sam’s family feel they need support in caring for him to meet his needs; this has led to a short break appeal for carers who can provide 1-2 short breaks per week, either during the week or weekends. It is hoped that Sam could initially avail of day short breaks which would progress to overnight short breaks to support him and his family’s caring responsibilities.

Sam enjoys time with his family. Sam seems to enjoy school, particularly so if he is learning about a topic that interests him, however he has been absent from school recently due to his mental health needs but hopes to be back soon. Sam also enjoys getting out and about in his dad’s lorry from time to time.

Sam can be kind and loving towards his family and is a polite young man. He is an excellent draughts player and is intelligent about geography and history due to his interests in these areas alongside this, he really enjoys baking. Although Sam struggles with his mental health he demonstrates a level of resilience and strength in coping daily with chronic mental health.

Sam has a poor appetite as a result of some medication he is taking; at times Sam can have a poor sleeping pattern and display ticks in his behaviour. Sam’s relationship with his siblings is generally good, but like all families, he can sometimes clash with them and having a short break in a new environment would allow Sam to meet new people and develop independence outside the family home.

Sam has poor safety awareness and he has run off at times. It is important that he is supervised at all times. Sam is prescribed medication for his mental health and PRN is given when he is increasingly agitated and carers would be fully trained to administer PRN medication to support Sam’s anxiety and agitation.

There is currently a support plan in place to the family involving weekly input from CAMHS, OT, Autism Services and Children’s Disability services. Sam benefits from reminders and prompts for his self-care needs. As Sam’s mental health can fluctuate he is receiving CAMHS input and medication helps manage this. On occasion, Sam can express challenging behaviour however behavioural strategies have been introduced to lessen these episodes. When agitated Sam benefits from having space, but it is important he is closely supervised if in an unfamiliar environment.

Sam’s family are experiencing high levels of carer stress and require support to maintain their caring responsibilities for Sam; there is risk of family breakdown due to the high levels of stress they are currently experiencing. Sam would benefit from carers who can support his mental health needs. Sam needs carers that are caring, patient and resilient and committed to meeting his care needs in a safe, warm and caring environment.

Carers supporting Sam will be provided with a bespoke fee, dedicated support through a link worker and training and holiday leave entitlement.

For more information, get in touch with us today on 02837 564350 or email shortbreaks.team@southerntrust.hscni.net

Meet Emily

Emily is 8 years old and has a diagnosis of Autism, a learning disability, epilepsy, chromosomal abnormality and sensory processing difficulties.

Emily needs someone who can provide her with a short break of 2 overnight stays per week during term time, and 2-3 overnights during school holidays. Emily lives at home with her mum and siblings; Emily’s mum is her primary carer and she experiences carer stress and there is a risk of family breakdown if a suitable placement is not identified.

Emily is a very lovable child who loves hugs and getting out for walks. Emily also loves looking at books, listening to music, playing in ball pools, outdoor play and has a swing at her family home which she enjoys very much! At school, Emily loves music therapy and also sensory therapy which helps support sensory and communication needs as Emily is non-verbal. Emily is incontinent and requires support with all of her personal care.

Emily is a very energetic little girl with specific behaviours and needs, a significant part of her daily routine involves sensory input to help manage these. Emily has a poor sleep pattern and her diet is restricted to certain foods. Emily’s care needs and behaviour can be challenging to manage, and she does not have any awareness of danger which means she requires a high level of supervision. Emily’s ideal carer is someone who is highly motivated, patient, enjoys sensory play, and can provide Emily with a warm and loving environment where she can continue to thrive.

Carers supporting Emily will be provided with a bespoke fee, dedicated support through a link worker and training and holiday leave entitlement.

For more information, get in touch with us today on 02837 564350 or email shortbreaks.team@southerntrust.hscni.net

 

Meet James

James is 11 years old and has a diagnosis of autism, sensory processing difficulties and ADHD. James is an active boy who is very humorous and when able to loves outings. James attends a local primary school. James lives with his mum and his brother. James loves to make people laugh and thrives on one to one attention.

James would benefit from a carer that is able to support him and can provide a high level of supervision due to his vulnerability and behaviours. Although prescribed melatonin, James has poor sleep. James has anxiety and struggles to attempt new activities but often enjoys them when he does.

James is receiving support from autism services to support him with strategies around self-regulation. James can struggle to understand boundaries and has a diagnosis of demand avoidance traits. When agitated James can become anxious and can become emotional and display behavioural issues such as aggression towards his mum and brother and towards his environment.

At school, James is on a reduced time table and presently finishes at 12pm each day. James struggled with the limited routine during the Covid-19 lockdowns and found it hard to manage while school was closed. Covid-19 has put additional stress on James and his family and this has exacerbated some of his behaviours.

James enjoys video games, particularly Fortnite and Mine Craft and would be happy to spend most of the day in his bedroom playing video games. James has a very positive relationship with his grandfather who is able to set firm boundaries, which James is able to adhere to.

James has no understanding of consequences and struggles to display empathy. James has no sense of danger and has previously attempted to leave the family home. It has been tough for James mum to remain consistent in implementing behaviour management techniques.

It is important that a carers home environment is calming for James to help him feel settled and deescalate any anxiety he may feel as he can feel anxious in social settings. Pre-pandemic James would have been engaged with various community activities however since the lockdowns have ceased James has withdrawn from these groups. James is isolated at home and spends a lot of time playing computer games. James would benefit from carers who can promote his social needs and help him build social skills.

Carers supporting James will be provided with a bespoke fee, dedicated support through a link worker and training and holiday leave entitlement.

For more information, get in touch with us today on 02837 564350 or email shortbreaks.team@southerntrust.hscni.net


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