Short break

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What does a Short Break foster carer do?

Short break foster carers look after a child or young person for a planned visit and overnight stay in their own home. This could be for one or two weekends a month or occasionally an extended stay, up to a maximum of twenty-eight days.

Why do we need short break carers?

Short break carers give the child’s main carer a break when they need one. Short breaks help maintain the child’s current placement with a foster carer or help a child continue to live with their birth parents or other members of their family.

What are the advantages of being a short break carer?

  • If you’re employed, you can organise providing care round your working hours.
  • It’s flexible, you can choose how much time you can give and fit it round other commitments.
  • You can enjoy building a relationship with a child, plan fun activities to do with them and be a positive influence on them and their family.
  • You can get the experience to progress onto full time fostering - if it’s for you.
  • If you are considering a career in childcare, it will give you experience and skills.

What are the advantages for the child of staying with a short break carer?

The child gets the chance to build more relationships and connections and gets experiences they wouldn’t otherwise get.
By staying in a different home, they see how different people live, giving them greater insight into wider society.

Who can become short break carer?

Anyone can apply to become a short break carer – you could be 27 or 72, all you need is a spare room, time to give and an interest in caring for children.

How do you become a short break carer?

Steps to becoming a foster carer:

  1. Initial telephone chat and home visit to discuss further
  2. Application to apply and invitation to attend Skills to Foster Training
  3. Assessment - taking approx four months
  4. Approval to be a foster carer by Fostering Panel - then children can be placed with you