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Could you give a child a break?

ByCharley Williams

Jan 24, 2017

Fostering North Yorkshire is looking for people who can give a child or young person with additional needs a home away from home when they and their families need a break.

Family-based overnight short breaks is an essential service provided by Fostering North Yorkshire for disabled children and young people, and their families. These breaks give the young person an opportunity to enjoy new experiences, make new friends outside their family circle, and take part in activities that promote their independence.

It also gives their families or full time carers the chance to do something with another child in the family, spend some quality time with them – or just have some well-deserved time to themselves.

Short break carers and the families they are supporting form a very close bond. Once it has been agreed to set up a short break service for a child or young person their family meets the prospective short break foster carer and finds out all about them, their skills and interests, and their family life. This gives them the opportunity to ensure that the placement will offer a perfect fit for their child.

These arrangements are never rushed and go ahead at the right pace for the child because every one of them is different. Each placement is individually tailored to meet the specific needs of the child or young person.

“Fostering North Yorkshire has a team of experienced foster carers who have the skills and expertise to provide specialist short break care for a disabled child” said County Councillor Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services.

“We make sure all our approved short break foster carers get extensive, ongoing training about looking after disabled children to ensure good standards of care are being provided throughout every placement.

“We value all our foster carers very highly, and in return we offer an attractive financial rewards package.  Our short break foster carers receive between £35 and £70 per night of care provided, depending on the needs of the child.  Specialist short break carers (who provide more complex care) receive an additional payment that can be up to £14,000 a year depending on how many nights of care they provide. This means that some of our short break carers earn as much as £28,000 a year.

“When carers start their fostering journey with us they are joining one of the country’s leading innovative local authorities, with all the support that brings.”

Fostering North Yorkshire is the local  not-for–profit fostering service and is part of North Yorkshire County Council’s (NYCC) Children and Young People’s Service. NYCC’s success in looking after the interests of young people in care has been acknowledged by the Government, which has selected it to become one of eight partner authorities to share good practice in children’s services at a national level.

North Yorkshire is a ‘Partner in Practice’ for the Department for Education, which means it will support and work alongside other authorities to share best practice and, as a result, develop more sustainable high performance across the country.

If you think you might have what it takes to offer short break fostering care, or would like to find out more fostering in general  please contact Fostering North Yorkshire on 01609 534654 or at  fostering@northyorks.gov.uk.