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Providing short breaks full time

Teenage boy with Down Syndrome claps his hand to his face, laughing

Are you considering a new career that can make a huge difference? If you have experience of caring for disabled children or working in health, social care or education, providing short breaks for disabled children could be for you.

The children who need short breaks often have disabilities, autism or complex medical needs.

If you want to provide short breaks on a full-time basis, you look after a child for three or five nights a week, 48 weeks per year. Alternatively, you can work part-time and provide short breaks for children with moderate needs for days, overnight stays or weekends. Find out more about part-time short breaks.

Who can provide short breaks full time?

You need to be over the age of 21, be a UK resident or have indefinite leave to stay, and have a spare bedroom. You'll need to undergo the same training as full-time foster carers, which takes about six months. You must be in good health and have safeguarding checks.

We ask that short breaks carers are particularly patient, empathetic and resilient. You should:

  • be patient and imaginative
  • be good at communicating and setting boundaries.
  • have enough time to spare to provide regular short breaks, which may include daytime, overnight stays or weekends
  • be willing to learn.

Support and training

We offer considerable support to help you manage the children you care for. We make sure that you have all the resources and knowledge you need to look after children with disabilities.

The support package includes:

  • extensive training to develop your skills
  • specialist training on relevant care routines and medication if needed
  • support groups with other carers and a supervising social worker
  • regular home meetings with your social worker

What you can earn

The payment for full-time short breaks reflects the complex needs of the children and young people and the skill level you need to meet their needs.

You'll receive:

  • £500 + the overnight rate of £90 for a 5-nights short break (up to £950 per week)
  • £300 + the overnight rate of £90 for a 3-nights short break (up to £570 per week)

You will receive your fee during any times when you do not have a child staying with you.

Ask about becoming a full-time short breaks carer

or to talk to our friendly recruitment team call 0800 801 530

“It's so rewarding. We can’t wait to meet the children we are matched with and be part of their lives.” — Michelle, foster carer