Children and Young Peoples Service
A story by Crossroads Care Orkney
We provided a respite break to the families of children and young people who have an additional need in the Orkney Islands. We take the child or young person out of the home to access an activity of their choice in the community.
What Children and Young Peoples Service did
Each child or young person gets to pick what activity they would like to attend. This year we have enabled the children and young people to take part in dancing, soft play room, swimming, library, health suite and shopping. Each of them had a 1.5 or 2 hour care at the same time and day every week.
Most of the activities took place in community venues such as the leisure centre, garden centre, library or on the main street in Kirkwall. One of the children stays in the home and our care attendant goes in to do activities with him.
29 carers and siblings benefited from this service by receiving respite care and 11 children and young people benefited from accessing an activity they enjoyed. Most of our clients have been with us for several years. Most referrals for help come from community social services.
The carers and sibling are free to use the respite time as they please. Time is taken to look after their own fitness, going for walks or having time to spend with their other children. One mother takes the time to go swimming with one of her other children. Another mother takes the time to rest and relax as she never gets a whole nights sleep.
One mother likes to go round the shops with her daughter and our care attendant to have a girls day out. We attend professional meetings regarding out clients and have sourced extra training and advice in particular cases to make sure we can provide the best care possible. We work with children and young people who have a range of needs including complex cases.
We are keen they take part in sporty activities which are physically good for them. We also endeavor to enhance social skills and independence while the children and young people are with us. We are happy to work with all age groups and disabilities up to the age of 20.
We have one particular complex case that is going very well and we have a pivotal role in maintain their mental well being. It is important to match the clients with the right care attendant and sometimes if a staff member moves on, the client may not accept a new member of staff very readily.
What Crossroads Care Orkney has learned
We have learned the immense value of a small amount of regular care and that it can make all the difference to both the carers and the children.
The project is very easy for us to plan and run and it is very rewarding to see the benefit it is to carers and children with additional needs.
We have to source additional funding to pay for the mileage allowance for taking the children out to their activities but as this is a valuable project we have not had a problem sourcing the additional funds.
How Crossroads Care Orkney has benefitted from the funding
The funding has meant we can continue a much appreciated community service giving existing clients continuity of care. It has also allowed us to take on some new clients giving more children an opportunity to socialise and more families some respite.
11 children and young people will be taken to activities of their choice to mix with their peers on a weekly basis.
10 children and young people were taken out to an activity of their choice in the community and 1 child engaged in activities in their home with a care attendant. All the children were taken out on a weekly basis for 1.5 to 2 hours each time on the same day of the week. 3 of the children only took part in their activities for part of the year. 10 of the children and young people went to activities where they met up with their peers
We take one child with quite severe autism to the soft play area. As the room is secure the child can run around and play on all the equipment on their own. The child is non verbal but can join in with the other children well, as they all just run around, laughing and having fun. The child goes to the soft play area after school, this is a time when the mum is busy with the child's younger sibling and getting tea ready. The child would not have this opportunity if we were not providing the respite.
31 parents, young carers and siblings will have had regular respite breaks to pursue their own interests.
We provided 29 parents, siblings and young carers with a regular respite break. They had their break on the same day and time each week allowing them to make arrangements in advance to make best use of their time.
One mother has been very grateful for her break as it allows her to take her daughter to her swimming lesson. Before we became involved the daughter was unable to attend her lesson as her mother could not leave the child with anyone who was not trained up to deal with his condition. We provide care in the home at other times so we used a trained care attendant to provide the respite break to allow the mother and daughter to attend the swimming classes. The mother felt confident to leave the child with our care attendant as they were familiar with him and they used this time to do fun activities at home.
31 parents and young carers will have improved health and wellbeing , enabling them to continue to provide care.
29 parents and siblings have had a 1.5 to 2 hour break each week. This time can be used to do any thing they want to do. The parents and siblings can do things together such as going out to an activity or just spending quality time together at home. Or they can do separate activities that they wouldn't normally be able to take part in because of their caring role. Having a break from caring means you can come back to the role feeling refreshed and relaxed. It is also nice you know you can look forward to this break again the following week.
One mother of a young person with more than one condition finds her caring role very demanding. She had felt her own wellbeing was suffering due to her caring responsibilities. With the chance of a weekly break from the role she has engaged in some keep fit regimes that has proved very beneficial to her overall health and wellbeing which has also impacted on her mental wellbeing in a positive way.
11 children and young people with additional needs and their families will feel happier and less stressed, which will improve their general wellbeing.
11 children and young people and 29 parents and siblings have all had regular breaks to pursue activities in the community or within their own home. We have provided 730 hours of care taking the children and young people out of the home to do physical and leisure activities mixing with peers and having lots of fun. The children are happy when they are out and happy when then get home again, where they are met by parents and sibling that have had a few hours of rest doing something they enjoy too. When people are rested and have done something enjoyable they become less stressed and better able to cope with a caring role. As the cares are weekly it is reassuring to all that they will have the same treat the following week.
The mother of a young person with a very complex disorder daily lives with anxiety and worry about her child's condition. It can be a lonely situation. The young person can't attend school so the situation is constant with no respite. We provided a care attendant to visit the young person to do whatever she feels like on the day, it might a walk out, a chat, a run in the car to town, visit a café. if they aren't having a good day it might just be giving reassurance. Mum gets a break but the main advantage for her is seeing her child happy for a couple of hours and the difference to their self esteem having a friend they can chat to and confide in.