To become a short breaks foster carer you don't need formal qualifications, but you should:
- understand and like children
- have plenty of common sense
- demonstrate patience
- show willingness to learn
- have a sense of humour
- be flexible and adapt to different situations
You need to be able to commit yourself for a minimum of two to three years, and to be able to offer overnight stays. It would be very useful to have experience of caring for a child or young person with a disability.
To care for a child from another family you must be willing to work in partnership with the child's family and Children's Services.
Work with York recruit the 'short break workers' who offer much needed respite to support families of disabled children and young people, with a range of learning and physical disabilities; see their website for details of social work and social care temporary, long term placements within City of York Council.
There are a number of steps involved in becoming a short break foster carer:
Contact us to request an information pack and to arrange for a home visit with our scheme worker, who'll provide more information.
Attend 2 to three 'preparation sessions' with other people who are interested in becoming short break foster carers to get essential details.
Complete an application form for assessment. The process takes between 4 and 6 months and will involve:
- a scheme worker visiting you at home
- discussion with you and your family about personal histories and ability to care for a child
- having a medical with your GP
- providing two personal references
- giving consent for a number of statutory checks to be undertaken
Our short break placement worker will prepare a report about your suitability to become a short break foster carer. You have the right to see all of the report, except the personal references.
Your report will be presented to a panel made up of carers, parents, social workers and other professional and independent people, who recommend whether or not your application should be approved. You will receive confirmation of the decision in writing.
Once you are approved as a short break foster carer you will be allocated a scheme worker who will identify a child or young person suitable for you to offer a short break to.