Who uses short breaks?

Our Short breaks service is available to any child or young person living in our area who has a disability and has been assessed by Children's Services as needing a short break.

Everybody who use the service brings their own unique personality, individual wishes and needs. The children and young people may have mobility issues or may be dependent on their carers for meeting all their physical needs. Others may be very mobile but require lots of supervision and support to help them be happy and safe.

Anthony, Fiona, Lucy and Jenny

Carer with disabled child

Anthony and Fiona have been short break foster carers for the past three years; they have one daughter Lucy who is five years old. They are approved as Additional Health Needs Carers.

Additional Health Needs Carers administer a nursing procedure to a child either daily as part of their routine or in an emergency. You do not need to be a nurse to do this as full training and support is offered by the short breaks Nurse Co-ordinator.

Jenny is six years old and suffers from Oesophageal Atresia, which is a narrowing of the oesophagus. Because of this Jenny needs to be fed via a gastrostomy. A gastrostomy is an opening into the stomach to allow a special tube to be inserted for feeding. Jenny is classed as having Additional Health Needs due to the gastrostomy. Anthony and Fiona have been given special training in order to feed Jenny via the gastrostomy.

Jenny has her gastrostomy feed during the night and is able to have small oral meals and drinks during the day.

Jenny is a lovely, bright, articulate child who enjoys age appropriate play and activities. Lucy and Jenny love dressing up and spend many hours playing together.

Jenny lives at home with her mum and dad and Billy the cat. Her parents have a really good relationship with Anthony and Fiona and are pleased that she has the opportunity to play with Lucy, as she is an only child. They have full confidence in Anthony and Fiona’s ability to care for her.

Jenny visits once every two weeks for an overnight stay on a Saturday and on extra nights during school holidays.

Mary and Molly

Carer and child on tricyle

Mary is a single carer who looks after Molly who is eight years old and has global developmental delay. Global developmental delay occurs when a child has the delayed achievement of one or more milestone. This may affect a child's speech and language, fine and gross motor skills, or personal and social skills.

Molly has been linked to Mary for three years. She visits once a fortnight after school for three hours and has one overnight stay a month on a weekend.

Molly lives at home with her parents and younger brother. She enjoys her visits to Mary, they like going for walks and feeding the ducks. Molly's parents have a good relationship with Mary and appreciate the care and support that she gives. They said that it gives Molly an opportunity to have different experiences and fun away from the family. It also gives them time to spend with their other child and do activities with him that would be difficult when caring for Molly.

Claire, David and Liam

Claire and David are new short break foster carers and have just started caring for Liam who is four years old and has cerebral palsy. Claire and David do not have any children of their own but felt that they had a lot to offer to a child.

Liam is a very bright, lively child who has just received his first wheelchair and is having great fun with the new independence it is giving him. He visits Claire and David once a month for a long weekend. He loves all sports particularly football. Claire and David have taken him swimming and to watch their local football team.

Liam lives at home with his mum and three older sisters. His mum feels that he benefits from the attention he receives from Claire and David and it allows her time to catch up on jobs around the home and spend time with her other children.

Liam enjoys his visits and always has his bag packed days in advance.

Julie, Matthew, Holly and Luke

Julie and Matthew have been carers for the past ten years, they have a nine year old daughter called Holly and care for Luke who is seven years old.

Luke has Autism and has difficulty communicating. He loves his routine, as well as familiar places and people. He can become distressed in new situations. Luke likes trains and anything to do with them. He particularly enjoys playing with his train set and Thomas the Tank Engine books and videos.

Julie and Matthew have been caring for Luke for three years and he is very settled with them. They know him well and have a good relationship with his parents. Recently they took him to the National Railway Museum in York, which he enjoyed. Luke does not interact with Holly but is happy to be around her. Julie and Matthew have explained to Holly about Autism and the communication difficulties that he has. She understands why he doesn't play with her but is still happy to have him around.

Luke's parents have no family in York and appreciate the help and support that Julie and Matthew offer. Luke stays for an overnight on a weekend once a month. This gives his parents time to themselves and new social opportunities for Luke

Caroline, Bob and Jamie

Jamie is 14 years old, Caroline and Bob are his short break foster carers. Jamie has autism and his speech is very limited but he can communicate by showing what he wants by using pictures and gestures. Caroline and Bob have been Jamie's short break foster carers for five years and they have seen his behaviour and interests change as he is growing up. Caroline and Bob are aware from experience and training how because of his autism Jamie finds new situations so distressing. They understand how important it is to introduce new experiences gradually and to check out with his parents that they are on the right 'track'.

Jamie visits Caroline and Bob once a fortnight usually at the weekend and stays for one overnight.  Bob is also a Sitter for Jamie three times a month, this means that he goes to stay with Jamie for three hours in his own home to enable his parents to go out on their own.

Jamie's parents and his two brothers always look forward to the break because they have time to be together without having to worry about Jamie. Jamie too enjoys his space away from his family because his short break foster carers' home is a familiar place to him where he feels safe and secure.

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