Become a Short breaks / Respite carer

Page updated on: 04/09/2023

Short Break Care is providing respite care in your own home for children and young people with disabilities and additional needs, and those who have more challenging behaviours or medical and/or physical needs. Short Break Care aims to relieve the pressure on families by offering the child/young person with a disability new experiences and opportunities to make new friends and form new relationships.

Short Break Care helps to increase a child/young person’s self-esteem and independence. Short Break Care is offered to a range of children and young people with learning disabilities 0-18 years for a minimum of 4 overnights per month. This may be just one overnight at a time or two consecutive nights at a time.

Anyone could be a Short Break Carer for children and young people with disabilities. Short Break Care can suit people who are not in a position to offer full time care.

Carmarthenshire recognises equality and diversity.  All applicants are considered if you are single, unemployed, disabled, gay, lesbian, over 40, or if you don’t own your own home.

You need to have a spare bedroom, time, patience, tolerance, and energy. You must be able to share your home and life with others.

Short Break Care involves working together with a team of people to care for a child/young person with a disability. It is not something that can be done in isolation, it affects your family and close friends.

If you have children of your own think carefully about how they will cope with sharing you, their home and their possessions. If you have a partner, Short Breaks is something you must both want.

You can’t be a Short Break Carer if you have a criminal record for offences against children. Having previous convictions doesn’t mean that you cannot be a Short Break Carer, but we have to consider whether this may affect your ability to provide appropriate care.

Short Break care isn’t all about giving; you too can get so much out of the experience.

You will be making a difference to a child’s life, seeing their confidence and self esteem grow. As a Short Break Carer you help by providing time-out for parents and siblings helping them recharge their batteries.

  • You won’t be left on your own. You will have a Supervising Social Worker to guide and support you.
  • You will receive regular visits and training; the child’s social worker will visit regularly too.
  • You will have support group meetings and the added support of a mentor with responsibility for supporting carers who work with children and young people with disabilities.
  • We will give you financial help, an allowance to cover the day to day expenses of caring for a child; further details will be available when we visit you at your home.

If you decide that you would like to be a Short Break Carer, or you would like more information, we will arrange to meet you at your home.

We will also ask you questions about your background, skills and experience and your reasons for wanting to become a Short Break Carer.

Following our visit, we’ll decide together whether you are in a position to go ahead with a Short Break Carer application.

If you are, we will invite you to Preparation Training, these sessions will give you a chance to learn more about Short Breaks with other people who, like you, are hoping to become Short Break Carers. It should give you enough information to decide whether to proceed with your application.

After you have attended preparation training, a Social Worker will visit you and your family regularly over a three to four months period and complete an assessment report.

You will be asked to have a medical examination with your G.P. but we also require at least two personal references and a health and safety check of your home. We will carry out checks with the police, and other areas where you have lived.

The Social Worker will then write a report recommending whether or not you should be approved as a Short Break Carer. You will have the opportunity to read the report and say whether you agree with it.

You will be invited to attend Panel which is made up of people who have expertise in this field. They will decide whether to approve you as a Short Break Carer. The decision will be sent to you in writing.

The Short Breaks Team will ensure that you receive information about policy and procedures, education and everything else to equip you to become a Short Break Carer.

We will arrange for you to start caring for a child via a process of introductions and planning.

All Short Break Carers undertake regular training to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of children and young people in their care. You will be invited to participate in various training events and sessions to equip you with the required skills.