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Short Breaks fostering

What is the Short Breaks scheme?

Short Breaks offer a child or young person with a disability an opportunity to share different experiences and meet different people whilst still living with their family. A child might come and stay with you for one or two nights a month giving their family an opportunity to recharge their batteries, safe in the knowledge that their child is enjoying the experience of being with trustworthy people. The child you care for under the Short Breaks scheme may have a physical or learning disability or an autistic spectrum disorder but will be carefully matched with you.

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What can I offer?

We believe that all children, whatever their ability, deserve to live in a family and have the same life chances as other children. We are therefore looking for foster carers who can help provide stability for a family by providing regular respite.

If you'd like to care for children and young people with a disability but are unable to do so full-time, then Short Breaks caring could be for you. Unlike other fostering you do not need to have a spare room permanently available – as long as you can make a room available when a child comes to stay. Most Short Breaks happen at the weekend so you would be able to continue working full-time during the week and on the weekends where you were not looking after a child.

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What support and training do I get?

As many Short Breaks carers also offer respite to general foster carers we ask them to attend the Skills to Foster training course as well as specific training on safeguarding disabled children. You may also need to attend additional training relevant to the child you are caring for.

You will also have the opportunity to continue to attend training provided to all foster carers after you have been approved and Surrey runs a support group for carers of children with disabilities.

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What will I be paid?

You will receive £66.79 to care for a child between 12 and 24 hours if they are aged 11 to 17 and £54.43 if they are under 11. We also offer a day care rate of £40.77 and an hourly rate of £6.61 per hour for shorter sessions.
As a Short Breaks carer you will be reimbursed for any mileage associated with collecting or taking home a child at a rate of 45 pence per mile. The cost of trips for the child would normally be covered by their parent/s and this would be agreed in advance as part of the matching process.

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Fee paid Short Breaks carers

If you have considerable experience of working and caring for children with disabilities, you might consider becoming a fee paid Short Breaks carer. You would care for between three and six disabled children (one at a time) at home for short periods regularly and provide at least 200 nights care a year. For this role we would pay you a weekly retaining fee of £200 and an allowance for every night a child stays with you.