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Could you help change a life?

There are hundreds of children across Cornwall in need of a safe loving home, whether that be for a few weeks, months or even just a few hours.  Cornwall Council is appealing for more people to consider becoming a short break foster carer, who would support young people with disabilities and their families.  

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Short break foster care can mean looking after a young person for an evening or a few days; it gives the young person a chance to do something different and for the family; vital downtime from caring for someone with additional needs.

Tracy is a short break carer for Cornwall Council, she says the role is very rewarding: “You need to have a good sense of humour and to be open to learn new things for this role, but it is good fun and the young people are amazing.”

Short break foster care gives disabled children new, enjoyable and fun experiences.  It also provides them with an opportunity to make new friends. Their siblings benefit from spending individual time with their parents and it provides a break for the parents. It is a rewarding experience for the carers who often form friendships with the family they support.

Tracy adds that it’s not just the children that benefit from short break care: “The families benefit because this represents a chance to re-charge their batteries, spend time with other children or to do things that their caring role doesn’t allow.”

Cornwall Council holds regular Information Meetings so the next step is to attend one when you can. Following this meeting, a social worker will meet with you in your home to discuss things with you in more detail. After this, your assessment to become a short break carer starts; the assessment includes training and checks and references.

Cabinet Member for Children, Health and Well Being, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “Being a short break foster carer is not only rewarding, but it is a vitally important part of a support structure for children with a disability and their families.”