Children and Young Peoples Service
A story by Crossroads Care Orkney
This service is for children and young people who have additional needs. The children are accompanied to an activity or their choice which in turn enables family to have a break from their caring role while their child has some fun. Additionally we hope to further the child’s social skills, confidence and independence.
What Children and Young Peoples Service did
Short breaks delivered included pool sessions, library visits, trips to the shops and cafes, walks, trips to the beach, park, accompanying to community groups, music sessions, crafts and sensory room visits. These activities took place mostly within the community but sometimes with in the persons home.
Those participating were children under 20 years old with additional support needs. Some of these people were referred to us by the social work team but most were self referred by the parents.
A care attendant was recruited who could work some hours within this service. We worked in partnership with the local authority and were given the opportunity to hire the sensory room once training had been done. The Care attendant also completed Autism training.
The Carers used their time to enjoy a break and some down time that they wouldn't normally have the opportunity to have. Priority areas addressed included mutual benefit, personalization, adding value and developing knowledge and understanding. Overall the service ran well with a small number of staff. However it was very much hoped that we would be able to provide more but this was not possible due to staff shortages, capacity within the organisation as a whole and availability of staff.
What Crossroads Care Orkney has learned
From delivering this project we have learned the following 3 things:
1. Despite not being able to deliver the service to as many people as we would have liked its important to stay focused and do what we can, where we can.
2. Working in partnership brought huge benefits. We would not have had entry to the sensory room otherwise.
3. It's important to remember that even if each activity only provides a couple of hours break to a family, that couple of hours is like gold dust to them.
How Crossroads Care Orkney has benefitted from the funding
The funding helped us develop new partnerships and links. It build on our skills and knowledge and despite not supporting as many families as we would have liked it still strengthened our reputation.
12 children and young people will have the weekly opportunity to go to an outing/activity of their choice.
This was partly achieved: 7 children and young people will have the weekly opportunity to go to an outing/activity of their choice. More could have been achieved with more staff.
Tom (ANON) and his family had used the service in the past but due to a staff member being off long term a replacement had not been found. Once we were able to introduce a new Care Attendant it proved to be a good match and a great professional relationship has grown. This was very positive for Tom and his family, the benefit to all involved was huge. Tom had no service to support him previously and whilst it is only a weekly activity it is a great support to Tom and his family.
20 parents, young carers and siblings will have had regular respite and a chance to pursue their own interests.
This was partly achieved: 12 Parent and 3 young Carers and siblings had regular respite and a chance to pursue their own interests.
A parent Carer and her two other children who are young Carers were able to make use of a local facility with fitness classes and relaxation sessions. The change was positive for all concerned. The young child could stay home and do activities whilst his Mum and siblings could have a break together, enhancing their health and wellbeing.
20 parents and young carers will have improved health and wellbeing, enabling them to continue more easily in their caring role.
This was partly achieved: 12 Parent and 3 young Carers had improved health and wellbeing, enabling them to continue more easily in their role.
Kim (anon) lives on a small island and has no support other than when X is at school. Circumstances were very challenging for Kim and her family. We were able to provide support to enable Kim to attend a community group in the school holidays which gave her something to look forward to, an opportunity to mix with her peers and at the same time provided her family with a break from their caring role.
12 children and young people with additional support needs and their families will feel the benefit of the break, will feel less stresses which will in turn enhance their coping strategies, mental health and wellbeing.
This was partly achieved: 7 children and young people with additional support needs and their families will feel the benefit of the break, will feel less stresses which will in turn enhance their coping strategies, mental health and wellbeing.
James was very shy as first but through time built up a great a trusting relationship with his Care attendant. James liked to do the same thing each week but as time passed his confidence grew and he embraced different opportunities and in turn boosted his self confidence and self esteem. This had a positive impact on the whole family.