After receiving a referral which highlighted the individual child’s package request, a staff member was matched to the child’s needs. The next stage was to meet with the child at their home to enable staff to get to know each young person and identify their needs, abilities and their goals and ensured we offer activities that not only challenged and developed them, but also remained fun.
We focussed on a young person’s abilities and what they could do rather than their disabilities and we encouraged full and independent participation and decision-making.
All sessions were planned six weeks in advance and drawn up together with the parents, the child and the support worker. The six week planner gave the child, parent and support worker a clear and defined vision of what each session would involve. The planner also informed parents how much money they would need, for instance if the decision is to go on a paid activity, such as the cinema, this will allow the parent/carer to budget accordingly. The activities some of the Children participated in were picnics in the park, sports, shopping, bowling, ice skating, cinema, attending youth groups, horse riding, visits to local museums and crafts.
The service not only provided a short break for the family and the child’s siblings, but also allowed the young person quality time to enjoy, explore his or her community and learn new skills.
Parents, carers and young people praised the Short Breaks service and informed us of the positive impact that the group had on the children and their families.
Regular reviews were undertaken to establish how the sessions were progressing, the information provided was valuable to ascertain the areas that had improved and the transitional next steps. We design our services in full participation with young people and their families to ensure they have fun and parents have confidence that the service is fit for purpose and provided effectively.
After each session the child and parent completed a short feedback form which enabled us to identify where we are getting it right and the areas that need to improve.
Children informed us in feedback forms and through discussion that they enjoyed coming to the clubs and had made new friends.