We worked in partnership with West Sussex County Council to deliver our locally based Inspire Service. The Inspire Service is all about social inclusion and we provided support for both young people and their families. By providing a support worker for 12 weeks, disabled children had the chance to have a short break of their choice, which ranged from attending local clubs, activity centres or sports like football or swimming.
Our Service promoted independence and ability, increased confidence and gave disabled children and young people time away from their families who also benefit from a short break themselves. We allowed children and young people to have fun and build upon their confidence and self-esteem to help them live independent, full and dignified lives. We always tailor our service to meet the young person and family’s needs.
Families overwhelmingly told us how valuable the service was, as it not only provided short breaks but also supported families in the home, too. Most children and family support workers stayed behind for a few minutes after each session, catching up with the parents about the session and supporting parents and carers in how to implement new routines and boundaries at home to manage challenging behaviour. It was not unusual for the service to have a big knock-on effect in the child’s life and to those around them.
The short break aspect of the service allowed children to integrate into their local communities and gave their parents, carers and other family members a break from caring responsibilities. Many disabled children that we worked with can now attend mainstream groups without the support of a worker or family member.