Poole’s Shared Care Scheme provides regular short breaks for children with additional needs, by linking them with a local shared carer who can provide care on a regular basis.
Shared Care gives the family respite and a chance to recharge their batteries, providing parents with the opportunity to spend time with their other children or to have a good night’s sleep. It also gives carers the opportunity to form a special bond with a child, as usually carers will be matched with just one or two children and provide ongoing care.
Care normally takes place in the Shared Carer’s own home, although there may be trips out and about. The home environment is taken into consideration when matching a child, as some may have mobility difficulties or use a wheelchair, whilst others are very active and need a safe space.
Most children require overnight breaks but some just have day care, or a mixed package. Often shared care is one weekend a month, but it can also be weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
If you are approved as a shared carer, you’ll get support from social workers and occupational therapists, as well as receiving a specialist Shared Care allowance.