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Shared care scheme

Who do we support?

Shared care is a short breaks respite scheme for families who have a disabled child between 0-18 years. We have a range of carers who are from an education, health or social care background. All carers are subject to a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check and provide care from either from the carer’s family home or the community. They offer specialist care to the children and young people.

What can you expect from us?

The shared care team consists of two social workers, one senior social worker and a supervisor social worker and a short breaks nurse.

A social worker from the children with disabilities team will assess your child’s and family’s needs and a recommendation to the resource allocation panel meeting will be made for respite. The care packages are formulated according to the children and families assessed needs. The respite could be day care, tea visits and/or overnights depending on your assessed needs. A carer is matched against your child’s needs, and once a potential carer is found you will be contacted and then the introduction process will start.

What activities are provided on a shared care short break?

Shared care service provision is usually free, however some activities may incur a cost, for example, entry admission fee to the zoo, this would depend on the activity, and would be negotiated with parents.

The carer can take your child to their house for a tea visit or take them swimming, to the cinema etc. It should be a fun time for your child and you get a break too.

How to get involved with the service

Introduction process

You have a meeting with the shared carer, your social worker and shared care co-ordinator. An official agreement is set up with you which stipulates your child’s needs and how many hours of shared care will be provided. The carer must be trained to meet your child’s needs, for example in giving medicines, gastrostomy-tube feeding, epilepsy awareness, moving and handling and challenging behaviour. The cost of this training is met by social care.

What happens after the Service has been involved?

Respite is reviewed on a six monthly basis and parents are asked to attend the meetings to ensure that the service meets their needs.

What can you do if you feel this service doesn’t meet your needs?

Search the Local Offer for other SEND Support Services, click on the pink ‘specific areas of need’ tiles or the ‘if you have concerns’ pathway.

Get in touch with the Special Educational Needs Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIAS). This team will be able talk with you about your concerns and can help you find information and support. 

Who to contact

The child or young person’s school family worker can refer a child or young person to the scheme.

You can also contact MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub)

Tel: 01582 547653


Last updated 11/10/2022