Family Transitions and Carer Recreation
A story by C.O.J.A.C.
We provided young adults with additional support needs with a Monday evening group session at our centre in Castlemilk. Transport was included from and to home.
Parents/carers of these young adults were provided with one evening a week break from caring, and monthly parent/carer support group.
What Family Transitions and Carer Recreation did
Provided a young adult group on a Monday evening for twelve young people. Also known as our teens, transitions and tantrums. Our young adults are undergoing changes through adolescence, moving on from children services and school as well as seeking independence from their parents and carers. Two support workers funded by C.O.J.A.C. worked with the Transitions Coordinator to assist and sustain this group from 6pm until 9pm 45 weeks of the year.
C.O.J.A.C. provided transport with escort to and from home, reducing the stress of families and carers with drop off and collection. Carers are provided with one evening per week to undertake a preferred activity or just some time out. This also reduces stress and anxiety for carers as they are assured their young adult is being cared for from the moment they are collected to home time.
Our young adults love hanging out with their peers and deciding what they are doing each evening. They young adults enjoy the time away from their parents/carers undertaking appropriate adult recreation and leisure. This group ensures that those young people are not isolated at home and have time out from their families and home in a fun, informal and age appropriate setting with friends and peers.
There has been an increase in the number of young adults from 10 to 12 this year. Sustained a parent/carer support group for those families affected by disability, once a month. The group meet in the centre informally. They have had speakers from the Disability Alliance and Glasgow City Council Education Department. This is undertaken in partnership with Glasgow South East Carers Centre.
What C.O.J.A.C. has learned
Dealing with the unexpected. A change in behaviour in one child/adult can cause problems in school, in the care setting and at home and can lead to a crisis for families. Having respite/ a break for the carer is just as important as the multi agency work that centres around the child/adult.
The funding that we have from Better Breaks has enabled us to match fund with other funders, such as The Robertson Trust. The Carers support group has allowed us to reach out to new families, who did not know about our services. We do not collect individual information from carers support group and only that they are a parent/carer of a child/adult with additional support needs. Therefore, I have not included any details about them (apart from actual numbers attending meetings), within the beneficiary information as they are not actual service users.
How C.O.J.A.C. has benefitted from the funding
Sustained our partnership with the South East Carers Centre and continued a local parent/carer group. It has allowed us to admit two more to the young adult group. One who is deaf, with learning disabilities and limited oral communication. The other was isolated at home not doing anything during the day or evening.
10 young adults with complex needs will have had a social and recreational activity once a week for 45 weeks of the year out with their home in an age appropriate setting. Provide continuity for young adults as they leave school and children’s services permitting them to sustain friendships.
Provided 12 young adults with complex support needs with one evening per week group session. This took place for 45 weeks of the year, every Monday evening from 6pm until 9pm. C.O.J.A.C. provided escorted transport to collect from home and return. We increased the number of young people attending from 10 to 12 to meet demand and identified need.
L (is profoundly deaf with learning disabilities and limited speech) is recently bereaved after losing her mum. Dad was on his own trying to cope and continue to work. We provided L with an evening session to give dad a break and allow him some time to himself. L was also displaying unusual behaviour. Staff worked with L on a one to one basis and she has now settled into the service. We have staff with Makaton and BSL which aided the admissions process.
20 carers will have a regular weekly break on a Monday evening, allowing them to participate in their choice of break without the added strain of drop off and collection. Parents/carers will be able to say that they have used this time to have a break that meets their needs.
We provided one evening per week social and leisure activity for twelve young adults including transport to and from home, reducing stress of parents/carers for drop off and collection. The parents/carers have been able to plan and rely on a regular evening break once a week. For some, it has been an opportunity to undertake a leisure interest or hobby, for others, a break from picking up and delivering their cared for to activities. It also reassured parents/carers that their cared for young adult was being looked after in a supportive environment with staff skilled in caring for them. It also allowed the young adult to go out without their parent/carer independently, just like a non disabled young adult.
Sustain parent/carers support group in the centre in partnership with South East Carers Centre. Ten parents/carers have more opportunities to socialise and meet with others in similar circumstances to them in an informal, non-judgemental and supportive environment.
The group have met every month aside from school holidays. The last two meetings have had speakers from the Autistic Resource Centre and Disability Alliance. There continues to be around 10-12 attending each meeting. Currently, we are supporting two lone parents with accessing Self Direct Support as they have no idea what they are entitled to.
The Transitions Co-ordinator and Centre Manager have been working closely with Social Work with one lone parent family who has been struggling to cope. Mum has been absent from work with depression due to escalating physically challenging behaviour from her son. He had difficulty with transition to secondary school (which had happened twice) We have put in place two workers to care for her son, this has decreased the challenging behaviour around other children and this has been a great relief for mum.