Your short break caring journey

*Exciting opportunity with short breaks service*

Fee-paid Short Breaks Carer

Salary: TBC; (generous salary, plus expenses)

Hours per week: 5 overnights per week/20 overnights per month.

The Short Breaks service has an exciting opportunity to work as a fee-paid carer providing care for children/young people with a disability. Have you been thinking about providing short break care for a child/young person with a disability? Can you help support parents/carers of children/young people with a disability? Have you the skills required to care for children/young people with complex support needs? If so, and you are interested in learning more about this opportunity we would love to hear from you!

The Short Breaks service is now seeking applications for carers who are able to provide care for children/young people with a disability. The carers will care for the child/young person in the carer’s home for 5 overnights per week/ 20 overnights per month. You will provide one child/young person with an overnight per week and may hypothetically have up to 5 different children over the duration of the week. This role is on a self-employed basis.

While we are only seeking 1 fee-paid carer it is essential that they have the support of another adult in the household; this may be a partner or adult son/daughter etc. that is able to provide support for the main carer.

The role of a fee-paid carer:

The role of a short breaks carer is to provide a high standard of care to a child/young person with a disability and additional needs. This is likely to include a child/young person with behavioural issues, with a poor sleep pattern, a risk of absconding, sensory processing needs, and who will require a high level of support and understanding. The age range of some of our children requiring a short break varies from 4-18 years old.

You will be responsible for putting the child/young person to bed, ensuring they are safe during the night and getting them up in the morning time and helping them get ready for the day; you may also be required to drop the child off at school or pick the child/young person up from school as required and if they are not at school to provide day-care. It is expected carers will help the child/young person to adhere to daily schedules, sensory diets, and implementing behaviour modification programmes, where appropriate, in order to meet the needs of the child/young person in their care.

Essential Criteria:

  • All applicants should have a minimum of six months experience of working with or caring for a child/young person/adult with a learning disability and/or challenging behaviour;
  • Carers should have a genuine passion for providing care for children/young people with a disability;
  • Carers should have a spare bedroom in their home where the child/young person can sleep;
  • Must have the support of another adult in your household to assist you to carry out some of the functions of the caring role;
  • Full driving licence and access to transport to carry out any duties associated;
  • Motivated to work in a challenging but extremely fulfilling care environment;
  • Be willing to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and attend any meetings as required.

Desirable Criteria:

  •  It is preferable that you do not have any children younger than age 12 in the household given the needs and challenges of the children/young people requiring care;
  • It is desirable that carers have a wheelchair accessible home;

What we offer in return:

  • Generous fee based on 5 overnights per week/20 overnights per month;
  • Expenses relating to the child/young person’s stay are covered;
  • 1 weekend off per month and 30 days annual leave;
  • Bespoke comprehensive training package based around the child/young person’s needs;
  • The  ongoing support and advice of a dedicated link worker and multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals involved in the child/young person’s care;

How to apply:

If you would like to find out more about the role please contact the short breaks team on 02837 564350 or email: Shortbreaks.team@southerntrust.hscni.net please provide a contact number so we can ring you back to discuss.

Please note the application involves an assessment process in order to determine your suitability as a foster carer; this process can take between 4-5 months.

If you are interested in this opportunity and feel you meet the criteria but are unable to commit to 20 overnights a month, there is a potential for a caring role providing 10 overnights a month which is negotiable at a lesser fee.

Closing date: 20th July 2021 at 12pm.


  • Initial Enquiry

    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.

  • Initial Visit

    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.

  • Background 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.

  • Approval

    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

    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.