Your short break caring journey
An initial enquiry is received by a member of the team who will then contact you to provide more in-depth information about the service and the role of a short breaks carer. An information pack will be sent out with a letter and an initial home visit arranged which takes place within 10 working days.
You will be visited by a social worker from our team in order to provide you with more information about our service and team and allow you to ask any questions you may have about the process. If you are happy to start the process we then will complete some consent forms and a FOS1 form and then begin our preliminary checks.
This involves Access NI checks, medical checks and additional checks if you have lived outside the UK. We will need to validate your ID and ask you to complete an online Access NI check and a health declaration. At this stage we will also collect contact details of references that can provide a reference for you.
Application and Assessment
We will ask you to complete a Motivation to Foster questionnaire in order to learn a bit more about your motivations for caring. A thorough assessment of you and a health and safety assessment of your home is carried out; this step will require you to provide detail on various areas of your personal life, including, your relationships, your childhood and your home life, etc.
Once our assessment is complete it will be sent to a specialist panel for approval. This is an opportunity for the panel to read your assessment and ascertain your suitability as a short breaks carer.
Training is a pivotal part of becoming a short breaks carer. You will undergo training delivered by our colleagues in the Family Placement team which will provide you with an in-depth look at the skills needed to be a carer. Following this, you will then complete our specialist Disability Awareness Training which is tailored to caring for children with disabilities. Should we match you with a child who has specific needs then further training will be delivered to you in order to meet this need.
Matching and considerations process
Once you have been approved as a Short Break carer and received training we will begin reviewing our waiting list and determine what potential child could be a good fit for you; we then discuss this with you and agree a way forward.
Introductory tea visits with the child and their family
These introductory visits with matches that will be arranged with you, your link worker and the family and will give you the chance to meet the child and their parents and decide whether you feel it is a good fit for you and your family.