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A break for you and your child

A break for you and your child
A short break or respite care can provide a positive experience for a child who has a disability and also for his or her parent or carer. A good short break service should be:
  • based on the needs of your child;
  • able to give you and your child choices;
  • of a high standard;
  • accessible; and
  • affordable – there is often no charge for short break services for children.
A short break service can take many forms. A carer might come into your home to ‘babysit’ and care for your child while you go out. You might be linked to another family or individual and your child will go and visit their home. Your child might go to a residential unit for a few days or he or she might be offered a befriender. After-school care and holiday playschemes can be another form of fun for your child and a break for you. 
“I never wanted respite for my son but it may be a good thing for him. I’d like him to access groups where he could meet other disabled children and just have fun.”
A short break service can offer many positive opportunities to your child. It can help him or her to meet new people, have fun doing the things he or she likes to do, and achieve some independence.
Using these types of services does not mean that you are ‘failing’ to look after your child. In fact, the aim is to help you continue to care by giving you time to catch up with other things. You might simply want to get some sleep or spend time with other family members or friends.
Short break services enable you to relax and recharge your batteries knowing that your child is well looked after and doing things he or she enjoys.
You can get more information about respite care and short breaks from your local social work department.  You can also find information and search for suitable short break services on the Shared Care Scotland website.

Family Toolkit

Developed by ENABLE Scotland’s Young Families’ Support Committee to make life a little easier for parents who are looking for information on how to apply for services.

The toolkit includes:

Tips on requesting Short Breaks (Word Doc)

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