Short breaks & respite care service

All long-term carers of children face many challenges and often need a break to alleviate the pressure on themselves and their families. We know from experience that people caring for children with physical or learning disabilities, or children whose early experience of neglect or abuse has led to extreme behavioural difficulties, face even greater challenges, with a resulting increase in the level of stress. Exhausted carers can lead to repeated failed placements and a disruptive cycle for both carers and children.

Respite care research

Adoption outcome research has shown that respite care can help to alleviate the pressures on families. Parents for Children’s own pilot research, carried out in 1999 when we first set up our short-breaks and respite care programme, suggests that a short break with someone with who a child is familiar is also greatly valued by the child.

For children whose lives have been disrupted by change, it is imperative that their respite carer is someone that they can get to know and develop a relationship with. Parents for Childrens’ experienced respite carers can offer short breaks to children with special needs in a safe and comfortable environment.

In addition, our respite care service is not just for longer periods of time such as holidays. Many of our regular respite carers are happy to care for children for a short period – a morning or afternoon – in the familiar surroundings of the family home, while the long-term carer has a well-earned afternoon 'off'.

Our respite carers

Parents for Children’s respite carers have all been assessed and are trained to the highest standard to care for children with disabilities and/or complex health problems. Maintaining a list of trained respite carers who are ready and willing to provide short-term care for children, often in the child’s long-term carer’s home environment, would be a luxury for many local authorities. This is where Parents for Children can help. Our respite carers provide a short breaks service for the children Parents for Children has placed, but there is considerable extra capacity available for other children and carers to benefit from this service.

Our respite care service is currently available within a 50-mile radius of London and in and around Northamptonshire.

You can view the profiles of some of our respite carers here.

If your local authority is interested in talking to us about our short breaks service, please contact us on [email protected], or call 020 7520 2881/5.