Five Rivers Child Care, a social enterprise, is calling on experienced care givers to offer up their skills and time to provide respite to foster carers in Swindon.
There are currently 265 children in foster care in Swindon, many of whose carers could benefit from respite from experienced care givers.
A recent survey revealed that more than 540 foster carers are needed in total across the South West over the coming 12 months.
This January, Five Rivers Child Care wants to thank all of the foster carers currently looking after some of the region’s most vulnerable children and young people. The social enterprise is also calling for those with care giving experience and the relevant transferable skills to consider applying to be respite or short-term foster carers.
Respite carers take in a foster child for a limited time period, this might be because of a family emergency or pre-planned holiday or other work commitments. Respite carers provide vital support to long term foster carers who might not otherwise have a break from their full-time role as a foster carer.
In some instances, a respite carer might look after a child for an overnight stay, a weekend, or even just after school if the foster carer is unable to get home in time.
Commenting on the ongoing need for respite carers, Martin Leitch, head of fostering operations for Five Rivers Child Care, said: “Respite carers are an integral part of the fostering industry and ensure full-time foster carers can retain flexibility in their personal lives. Like everyone else, foster carers often find January a busy time so it can be a time when we require more respite carers than usual.
“This type of a care is a perfect employment opportunity for those with the relevant care giving skills and would be great for someone in an existing part-time care role looking for a flexible work opportunity. The roles also offer regular training with industry experts and the opportunity to work alongside social workers and other healthcare professionals.”
People from all walks of life can become respite carers as long as they are over 21 years of age, including single people, co-habiting couples, same sex couples and people living in rented accommodation. The only requirement is a spare room for each foster child.
For more information about respite fostering contact Five Rivers Child Care on 0345 266 0272 or visit www.five-rivers.org