Urgent call for short break carers

Short break carer Judi is a lifeline for Kate who's 11 year old son Archie has complex medical needs. You could help other local families by committing just a few nights a month.

Hear first hand the difference short break care is making to both families.

What is short break care?

Sometimes families with a disabled child need a break themselves.

As a short break carer you would care for a disabled child in your home a few nights a month, and sometimes longer in school holidays, if this is something that fits in with your family and circumstances.

The short break scheme gives disabled children and young people new, enjoyable and fun experience with a different family.

It provides a break for the parents of the disabled child from their ongoing caring responsibilities and siblings also benefit from spending individual time with their parents.

It's a rewarding experience for the carers who often form friendship with the family they support.

What kind of disabilities are the children likely to have?

All too often people doubt their ability to become a short break carer because they have limited or no experience of disabilities.

The majority of the children and young people that need your help in Kirklees have less complex medical needs and are more likely to have a learning disability or low level physical disability.

Despite having a disability, more than anything, these special children need your time to play with them, take them out and about in the community, to help them make new friends and generally to give them and their families a much needed break.

Who can become short break carers?

There is no such thing as a typical short break carer. You don’t have to have had previous experience of looking after a child with disabilities as full training will be given.

We need people from all communities and backgrounds in Kirklees to consider short break care.

You could be a short break carer whether you're:

  • single - male or female, married, living as a couple, divorced or widowed
  • with or without children
  • of any religious faith or none
  • of any cultural background
  • homeowners or renting
  • employed, retired or on benefits
  • with or without childcare experience
  • with or without qualifications

To make a great short break carer all you need is:

  • A positive attitude
  • Motivation and energy to care for a disabled child
  • Patience and commitment
  • A spare bedroom
  • Experience of working with children
  • Knowledge of disabilities (though not essential as full training will be given)
  • Confidence to cope with challenges
  • Willingness to engage in training and personal development

You will also need to be:

  • Welcoming
  • Warm and nurturing
  • Adaptable
  • Organised and reliable
  • Available on a regular basis, routinely