Respite Voucher Scheme Extension
A story by Renfrewshire Carers Centre
The Voucher Scheme enabled families to access activities such as swimming, dancing, out for something to eat visits to the animal farms, sensory rooms within the Renfrewshire area an outwith.
The Scheme has so far delivered 1472 hours of respite to 22 families, 38 adult carers, 19 young Carers and 26 young people with multiple complex needs. Families have accessed personalised tailor made respite through redemption of Care Vouchers to Care companies.
More opportunities to live a life outside caring,
Enable carers and cared for to participate in activities
Enable carers to sustain their caring relationship through regular planned breaks from their caring role.
Provision of flexible person Centered respite.
Tip 1:Having a wide and diverse Care Companies who can respond quickly to carers needs, Ensure they can deliver what they say they can
Tip 2:Protocol and proceedures in place at begining with Care Companies
Tip 3:make sure you plan for enough time to manage the project, particularly at the begining.
Jamie is a young boy with complex needs with limited communication skills, on the returned evaluation form, mum fed back how much her son enjoys time out with his care worker on a one to one basis, doing the things he enjoys like going to the park, out for something to eat and this week in particularly as he got to have tea with Santa, something that would be totally impossible as I have a younger child who is too young and is scared of Santa and with no family support, it simply wouldn’t have happened, she also couldn’t believe Jamie actually got to go swimming, this is something Jamie loves, (mum or dad can’t do due to having skin condition that prevents them going into the water).
John is a young man with Down’s syndrome, ADHD and learning support needs and also has communication difficulties even though communication is limited, when his mum lets him know he’s going out with the care worker, he gets his coat and paces the floor waiting on the worker showing, and on return, he insists he’s going back out with the care worker as he enjoys his time away from his family socializing doing things he enjoys, such as bowling, soft play and a run in the car to Largs and particularly Lynn park (which has a sensory room for when he is tired)
The voucher scheme has allowed parent carers choice to select a time and care company who best fits with their child/young person’s needs while allowing them a life outside their caring role. It also mean that there is continuity of worker who will get to know the family especially the child/young person, and this will provide a more personalised form of respite.
Examples have been that they have been able to attend trips with their parents to Museums something they are unable to do. Visit historical sites in Paisley i.e. SMA shot cottage, the observatory and finding out local history. Bowling, swimming and the cinema are also a great attraction to these young people and to go with their parents is a treat for them.
“Due to the Voucher Scheme I have been able to take up driving lessons and since i've passed my test, this will enhance our life greatly, having my driving license has given me my independence, I will be able to do more with the children’ “I have also been able to complete a college course and now I’ve joined the gym looking to get fit, none of this would be able to be achieved without regular planned respite”
– Lyndie Gibson (Parent Carer).
As all these children/young people accessing this service have complex needs it is very difficult for carers to access this type of support through statutory services. Therefore this break is enabling carers to better sustain their caring relationship through planned regular breaks that are in charge of.
The voucher scheme has allowed parent carers choice to select a time and care company who best fits with their child/young person’s needs while allowing them a life outside their caring role. It also mean that there is continuity of worker who will get to know the family especially the child/young person, and this will provide a more personalised form of respite
The voucher scheme is the first outside help that has been accepted by the family mainly because it can be flexible and can take things slowly, at the families own pace. It has given the family the opportunity to plan breaks that meet their families needs. A worker has been introduced to the family that has the knowledge, skills and experience of epilepsy. Initially this support is during the day however it is hoped in the near future to have an overnight service will be introduced.
Mum has the reassurance of knowing the worker, building up their relationship and knowing they have the skills to deal with the seizures meaning the carer can get a full nights sleep. The carer has said "As a result of using the Voucher Scheme we can take things slowly introducing my daughter to the possibility of someone looking after her other than myself, she is now looking forward to trying the overnights with the view to access residential care in the future."
One carer who receives regular respite to manage her son's care needs but does not allow for her to have time to herself is utilising the voucher scheme to take up driving lessons, something she wanted to so for a long time but didn't have the opportunity. This will give her more independence and making day to day living easier to deal with.
The majority of children/young people who access the voucher scheme are using to get involved in their community instead of staying in their own home.
Another challenge that occurred was there was a number of the companies, couldn’t provide experienced trained staff to deal with some of the conditions the children/young people have, to address this issue companies have accessed necessary training for staff, which was time consuming and delayed service provision, we also looked to access a service from companies outside our area to deliver respite, again lack of expertise was an issue.
Another difficulty that transpired was the decrease on the number of hours of respite being used, when investigated, found that Carer’s really needed the break but couldn’t afford the expenses for the outings which was causing hardship to families, to address this The voucher scheme offset hours towards the expenses, Ultimately these issues have impacted on the amount of hours we put in the application, with less respite hours being provided.
Some of the benefits that carers reported; young people with the disability have had opportunities to improve their confidence and self-esteem by being out in the community with someone outside their immediate family, in particular children felt more independent.
Providing a more holistic approach to the needs of carers to enable them to maintain their caring role and meeting the need of the person they care for.
We understand the constraints of the funding streams but longer term funding initiatives would be welcomed as it would make it easier to plan and develop projects
We designed a questionnaire using symbols, which was child friendly with smiley/sad/very happy faces so the children/young people who have complex needs, little communication and understanding choose how they felt about the service.