Family based overnight short break
Wiltshire Council run a short break care scheme called Family Based Overnight Short Breaks. It's different to regular fostering as it's part-time.
Most of the children who we need to find short break care for have learning disabilities, although others have physical disabilities and complex medical conditions requiring structured health routines.
The Family Based Overnight Short Breaks (ONSB) Scheme is part of the Wiltshire Placement Services, Fostering Team. The aim of the service is to provide overnight short breaks to disabled children aged 0-18 years. As a family based service, all carers are approved foster carers. Carers can be approved under one of two different short breaks schemes depending on how much time and availability they can commit to the role.
- Families who are bringing up a child with disabilities often find it very difficult to have time for themselves or their other children and need an opportunity to rest and re-charge their batteries. At the same time the service provides disabled children with the opportunity to make new friends and widen their horizons in a family based setting.
For parents, handing over your child to the care of someone else, for however short a period, is a difficult decision to make. That is why there is careful matching between the child and carer and the ONSB social worker supports the initial matching and ongoing placement every step of the way.
- You must be 21 or over
- You must have the time, physical space and energy alongside a genuine interest in looking after a child with disabilities
- Overnight Short Breaks care is for people interested in building a supportive and caring long-term relationships with children with disabilities and their family
- Our foster carers come from a diverse range of backgrounds. You may be:
- married, living with someone or single
- living in your own home or renting
- able -bodied or living with a disability
- working, unemployed or retired
- living with your own children, step children or without children
- heterosexual, gay, lesbian or transgender (LGBTQ+)
All referrals for the ONSB scheme are received from the Children and Young Person's Disability Team. They will have an allocated social worker who has carried out a Single Assessment and identified a need for overnight short breaks.
ONSB is made up of two schemes; Family Link and SEND Specialist Carers. The schemes are very similar, but there are differences in payments and expectations.
|Family Link Scheme||SEND Specialist Care Scheme|
|You will be approved to foster disabled children for overnight short breaks.||You will be approved to foster disabled children for overnight short breaks.|
|You will be linked with one or more disabled child depending on your availability and wishes. However, we ask that Family Link carers commit to provide a short break to a child for at least, the equivalent of a weekend a month.||You will be linked to several children. Full time carers provide 200 nights per year and part time carers 100 nights per year.|
|You will be paid an allowance for each session that the child stays with you.||You will be contracted and therefore classed as self-employed. We understand that this is a big commitment and pay a competitive fee for SEND specialist carers, even when a child is not in placement. In return we expect a more flexible and secure service.|
All ONSB carers are approved as foster carers and must successfully complete the same assessment process as mainstream foster carers; with an emphasis on caring for a child with disabilities. The assessment process takes approximately 16 weeks, for more information see the 'What happens next?' page.
All ONSB foster carers receive ongoing support and training. They will be linked to a named supervising social worker from the Fostering Service who will see them for regular supervision, depending on the number and complexity of children being cared for. Training is viewed as key to promoting a forward-thinking service. All foster carers are therefore expected to keep up to date with their training pathway and child specific training. Peer support is encouraged via support groups and birth children's support group.
- free membership to the The Fostering Network which provides specialist support and information to help all foster carers
- all fostering households receive a Max card which gives free or discounted entry to over a 1000 attractions across the UK
- you will be kept up to date with what is happening with Wiltshire's Fostering Service with quarterly newsletters
- membership of Wiltshire's Fostering Association.