Children and Young Peoples Service
A story by Crossroads Care Orkney
We provided a care attendant to accompany the young people with additional support needs on an activity of their choice.
The aim of the project was to develop their social skills, independence and confidence while having some fun too and also provide respite for the families.
What Children and Young Peoples Service did
Crossroads Care Orkney enabled children and young people with additional needs to access activities such as swimming, soft play area, boulder cave, dancing, the library and the health suite. The children and young people go to their activity on the same day and the same time every week. One child with complex needs stays at home and does indoor activities with his care attendant. All other activities take place in the community.
We support children and young people from age 3 to 20 who have an additional need. They can be referred to us by their social worker, education department or by the parent/carer themselves. Other beneficiaries of the service are the parents, carers and siblings of the service users. They benefit from respite care. The parents tell us the break gives them time to have quality time with their other children. One parent gets the chance to take her other daughter to swimming lessons.
As several of the young people are on the Autistic Spectrum we have encouraged our care attendants to undertake a NCFE level 2 in ASD. One of the care attendants has become our Autism Champion and she can share her knowledge with others. We fulfilled all the Better Breaks priority areas by accepting referral from 3 year olds to 20 year olds.
We provided a service to young people with complex needs. Most of the activities are sport or active leisure based. One of the aims of our service is to get children more independent and we have achieved this many times over the years. Two of our young people are over 18 now and we are playing a part in their transition to adulthood. Our service is open to people with any illness or disability and ethnic background.
Our service has run to plan, although we have had less referrals than expected. Most of the children we have provided a service too have progressed in the activity they have undertaken and this is what makes it all worthwhile. It is really good to see them growing in confidence and developing their social skills.
What Crossroads Care Orkney has learned
We don't get as many referrals as we used to and we think this may be due to parents accessing a direct payment as an alternative. We have a really good awareness now of what activities are available to children and young people. We have gained evidence of how valuable out service is.
How Crossroads Care Orkney has benefitted from the funding
The funding from Better Breaks has enabled us to sustain a service that we have run for many years, giving carers and their families much needed respite breaks. It has also helped to enhance the social skills, independence and confidence of many children and young people with additional needs.
15 children will have been taken to an activity of their choice to mix with their peers on a weekly basis.
Due to having less referrals than expected we delivered our service to 11 children. All bar two of these children and young people were supported at an activity that saw them mix with their peers. They went to their activity every week. The two children with complex needs were taken out in the community but were unable to take part in activities but they did have the chance to meet and mix with other people.
We took a young girl to dancing classes which we have done now for several years. When she first started her behaviour could be quite challenging and her attention span could be quite limited. We had to monitor her very closely as there were other children present. When the rest of her peer group moved up a level she had to stay behind, however over the last year her behaviour and attention has improved immensely and she was included in her peer group once again. This was all down to the perseverance of her dance teacher and the care attendant who supported her at the dancing and, of course, her own effort.
Children and young people with disabilities (aged 20 and under) and their carers will have improved wellbeing.
11 children and 35 carers and siblings benefited from the Children and Young Peoples Service that we provided. The children and young people are all doing something active with is good for their mental and physical wellbeing and as it is an activity of their choice, they enjoy it, so are having a lot of fun too. The carers and siblings have a couple of hours free to pursue their own interests which will take the strain off their constant caring duties. A break from each other helps to sustain good relationships which in turn leads to everyone being happier.
When we take a young girl swimming each weekend this gives her parents a much needed break. The young person is moderately to severely autistic and a whole weekend caring for her can be challenging. When we take her out on a Saturday the parents can then spend some quality time with their other child. This 2 hours that they can be together is hugely important to all their mental wellbeing. They also know that the young girl is having a good time too as swimming is her favourite activity and she is always in a happy mood when she returns home.
Carers of children and young people with disabilities (aged 20 and under) will have more opportunities to enjoy a life outside of their caring role.
35 carers and siblings have been supported to have a life outside their caring role by our service taking their dependant child or young person out to an activity of their choice. As we do this on a weekly basis at the same time each week the family know that they have that time to arrange things that they would like to do. Having this continuity means they can plan their own activities enabling them to have a life outside of their caring role.
When we take a young lady out to the health suite one evening a week her carer take the opportunity to go visiting family. This is the only time she is able to do so as she is a full time carer.
Carers of children and young people with disabilities (aged 20 and under) will feel better supported to sustain their caring role.
35 carers and siblings benefited from our Children and Young peoples service where we take their dependants out to activities in the community. The time the carers get to themselves is crucial for them to be able to continue in their caring roles. The time they get to themselves can be spent resting or doing a leisure activity of their own or spending time together as a family.
The X family have a profoundly disabled child and other older children too. Rigid routines have to be followed and hospital trips off island are common. Both parents are 'on duty' all the time and this becomes extremely tiring for them. The other children have all the activities they want to go to as well and juggling everything is very difficult for the parents. Our weekly visit means we can take over looking after the child and doing some nice activities that makes them happy. Mum can then take off with the other children to do other things. This break takes a lot of strain and guilt away from her and she feels refreshed and ready to start over again when she gets back.