We want to ensure that all our carers get the right support to undertake short breaks. The main source of support will be the social worker allocated to you from the Short Break service. This social worker may be the same social worker who completed the home study assessment with you. The role of this social worker is to supervise and support you to provide short break care. You will have regular contact with them via telephone and visits to your home. When necessary, they will accompany you or attend meetings on your behalf.
You will also receive support from the child/ young person’s social worker, health visitor and other professional involved. Parents are very supportive and appreciative of the break and carers and parents often build a positive relationship.
Outside of office hours there is an out of hours service that provides advice and support to carers who are concerned about the child or young person in their care.
You can also contact fostering Network for support. Fostering Network is a voluntary organisation that provides advice, information, training and support to foster carers.
An allowance is paid which covers the cost of caring for the child or young person. There are circumstances where additional money is paid e.g nappies or bedding. This will be explained to you by your social worker.
During the initial phase of assessment you will be offered the opportunity to avail of pre-approval training, this will give you the opportunity to explore whether short breaks is right for you and your family. You will also get to meet and hear from short break carers who are doing the job and gain some awareness of the support and training which will be offered to you as a short break carer.
Post approval training
Once you are approved by the Trusts fostering panel any identified learning needs will have been highlighted by the panel. This will form part of your initial support and development package.
All short break carers will have an annual review. This review will usually take place in your own home with your social worker and the child’s social worker and will explore the current situation. As part of this review an assessment of your learning needs will be undertaken.