A story by CARING OPERATIONS JOINT ACTION COUNCIL
We provide high staff support for children and young people with complex and multiple disabilities. The project also provides a young adult group one evening per week with door to door transport.
What FAIR PLAY did
The project addresses the social and economic exclusion that many families face through the difficulty of caring, potentially looking after other siblings, and/or being lone parents/carers. It also addresses the high cost of care for C.O.J.A.C. to deliver one to one or two to one care (for those who display behaviour that challenges) for children/young people with complex and multiple support needs. It is unfeasible that we can charge the real unit cost of care those families and carers. It would be out with the reach of those working in particular, those in key worker roles, including, social care and health sectors, retail and the service industry or for those with only one income coming into the home.
Children/young people affected by disability often attend schools out with their locale as they require specialised provision. This means they are unable to forge local friendships or participate in that walk to and from school like non-disabled children. They are often limited with opportunities to play outside as they may be a ‘flight risk,’ and/or have a low developmental age meaning they are more likely to take risks similar to a toddler. Our waiting list increasingly reflects those children requiring one or two to one care.
We have strong partnerships with Glasgow Additional Support Needs schools and ensure that our marketing materials are available for every new school year to be passed to new parents/carers couple with our robust relationships with Social Work and Health.
The funding will continue to provide subsidised places for those children and young people that require high support, at an affordable cost, whilst providing independent time out for child/young person and valuable respite for parent/carer.
What CARING OPERATIONS JOINT ACTION COUNCIL has learned
The funding from Better Breaks allows us to bring in additional staff during the holiday periods. This is when the service is mostly in demand. In particular, during the summer holidays as families and carers struggle with the long period that children and young people are not in a routine or finding things to do that are inclusive and not expensive. So it, allows us to reach more families and carers. The funding has permitted us to offer more support to families, for example, increased days during the week. One family, gran has kinship care and is terminally ill. We have stepped in to provide 5 days care for the child reducing stress for the family. The funding allows for staff time to spend with families and carers in settling in new children and young people to the service and to liaise with schools, carer’s centres and social work. Thus improves our partnership working.
How CARING OPERATIONS JOINT ACTION COUNCIL has benefitted from the funding
The funding allows C.O.J.A.C. to offer the one to one care that the majority of our children and young people now require. It ensures that we continue to offer a quality service that meets individual needs as these children and young people have complex needs that cannot be met in a mainstream environment. For example, ‘flight risk,’ where they are likely to run off, through doors in open areas such as parks and thus, are unaware of risks. It has ensured that we remain a quality service that parents/carers can depend on. A recent Care Inspection for our children's service awarded C.O.J.A.C. 4 X Excellent and 1 x Very Good.
Provide 5 full day sessions for 7 hours per day for 11 weeks of the year for 4-8 children. Provision of a Monday evening disabled young adult group 50 weeks of the year.
4 children with complex support needs attended during the school holidays for 7 hours per day for 11 weeks of the year. C.O.J.A.C. provided a Monday evening group with door to door transport for 14 young disabled adults 50 weeks of the year. When the centre was closed on Mondays due to public holoidays, we changed to a Wednesday to ensure that our young adults did not lose out on their vital time out from home.
J is five years old whose parents have both passed away due to addictions. Maternal grandmother has become the Kinship Carer. Gran now has a terminal illness, is becoming frail and C.O.J.A.C. was approached by both a friend of the family and J's aunts for support. J has Development Delay, ADHD, nonverbal and not toilet trained. J finds comfort with eating, cries a lot and inflicts self-injuries. J has now been with C.O.J.A.C. for 10 months. Staff are working with J with PECS’s cards and with pointing, which has been a slow process as none of this has or is being used at home. J has progressed from using the service from one day per week to five to meet the family and his needs. J currently requires one to one support, particularly through transition from one activity to another and staff are spending time working through this with J. C.O.J.A.C. is providing that sustained support that the family needs, whilst offering J a settled routine outside school.
Provision of 5 x 7 hours respite every week during school holidays and in service days for between 4-8 children and young people depending on their needs. Provision of one evening per week between 6pm -9.30pm of social and leisure activities for 10 young disabled adults including transport.
8 parents/carers had opportunities for respite from their caring role during the school holidays. This allowed them time with their other children or to have some time out for themselves. 28 parents/carers had one evening per week to themselves, with a break from their caring role. This included one couple who used the time for 'date night.' They stated that they do not get the opportunity to go out together, as one usually has to stay at home.
K is 12 years and is Autistic, Moebius Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, with limited vision. K finds difficulty following instructions. K lives at home with a lone parent and is in close contact with an aunt. K is transitioning from Primary to Secondary and is displaying behaviour that challenges. K requires one and sometimes two to one care as K is older and has displayed frustration with both staff and other children. Staff are working closely with the parent to enable respite to be maintained and to continue with K having independent time out from home.
Provide a respite break for 28 parent/carers. Provide staff time to attend case review meetings and offer indvidual family/carer support.
We provided a respite break for 36 parents/carers, either throough one evening per week or during school holidays. We provided time for staff to attend appropriate training, attend case review meetings and offer individual support for children, young people and young adults with appropriate settling in time to the service.
R is 19 years, has joined C.O.J.A.C. and has learning and communication difficulties. The family are from Nigeria, mum is here on a student visa with dad trying to seek employment. They are very isolated as they have no other supports. Dad is keen for R to be with his peers and to have time out from home. This also allows the parents, vital respite. R is delighted to be at C.O.J.A.C. and hopes to attend college in August. R is participating in all group activities and parents are now able to have one evening a week free of their caring responsibilities.
28 parents and carers will have a service that meets the individual needs of their child/young person allowing them to confidently enjoy their break from caring.
28 parent/carers of young adults benefitted from one regular evening per week of respite. 14 young adults had independent time out from home, with their peers undertaking activities that they enjoy. Parent/carers had a chance to undertake something they enjoy such as a meal out as a couple and their young person was able to take part in activities such as Halloween disco, Christmas disco, Karaoke, baking, health and beauty and so forth. 8 parent/carers enjoyed a break from caring during the school holidays allowing them time for themselves or to spend with their other children, who are often overlooked, whilst the focus is on the disabled child.
L is 9 years, an only child living with a lone parent, and with no other family support. L has complex support needs, nonverbal and requires personal care. L displays behaviour that challenges both at home and outwith. This is usually with adults, in particular, the parent. L requires two to one support for personal care within the centre due to behaviour that challenges. Staff have worked closely with school and social work in ensuring increased support for mum at home. However, school stopped transport to the centre after school due to cost. The school would offer it to home, just not to respite. This meant mum was travelling across Glasgow in rush hour to ensure the continued relationship with C.O.J.A.C. and staff all year round. This was imperative for L's routines. Staff are working with mum and Social Work to try to put in place alternative transport arrangements.