We all need a break from time to time, and for families with disabled children this is especially important.
It can be hard for parents of disabled children to find opportunities to step back from their child’s care. It can also benefit disabled children hugely to have a break from their normal routine, a change of scenery and the chance to meet new people and make new friends.
Our Family Link service gives disabled children and their families the chance to do this. It provides short breaks for disabled children in a safe environment for anything from a few hours at a time, to a few days a month depending on the child’s needs. This gives them valuable time to spend with others, and a break for their family from the everyday responsibilities of caring for their child.
How does Family Link work?
We wouldn’t be able to provide our invaluable Family Link service without the help of people like you. We have a team of Family Link carers who we work closely with to link them with a family who needs their support to take over the care of their disabled child.
They open their home to disabled children so they can experience time away from their families, this could even be their first time away from home. Family Link care all happens in an environment where the child’s family can be confident the child is happy and feels secure.
By providing this care, our Family Link carers know they are helping out a family and giving them the quality time they need in addition to giving their child the chance to:
- Have new experiences
- Meet new people and build new friendships
- Have opportunities to become more independent
- Develop their social skills
- Build their confidence
Could I be a Family Link carer?
We are always looking for new Family Link carers to join our brilliant team. You can make a real difference to a disabled child and their family by taking on this rewarding role.
You don’t need any special qualifications, but you do need to passionate about helping disabled children and their families.
Our Family Link carers come from diverse cultures and backgrounds and their circumstances are all different. If you work, you can continue your employment and be a Family Link carer, we will work together with you and our families with disabled children to find the link that best suits the needs of both families.
Ideally we are looking for people who have experience of working with or caring for disabled children or adults, and people who can provide a loving home for a disabled child and commit to helping and supporting their family by providing regular short breaks for their child.
Support you will receive as a Family Link carer
In return for being part of our team of Family Link carers, we offer a full package of training and support and a financial allowance. We will support you by providing:
- Training including safeguarding, safer caring, manual handling, first aid, child development or specific training to meet the individual needs of the child you’re caring for
- Support and advice from our team of child social care professionals
- A dedicated Family Link supervising social worker who will support you in your role
- Support from our team of Family Link carers including support groups and family fun days
- Contacts and links with relevant services and resources in Northamptonshire
How do I become a Family Link carer?
If you’d like to know more, please complete the online form below:
Register your interest
Steps to becoming a Family Link carer
We will support you every step of the way on your journey to becoming a Family Link carer.
Step 1 - Initial enquiry
Once we have received your initial enquiry, our friendly social work team will arrange for a social worker to visit you in your home to get to know you and your family.
Step 2 – Checks and assessments
We will need to carry out some checks and assessments to make sure you are ready to become a Family Link carer, and so your application can be considered for approval. The social worker will explain this to you in more detail.
Step 3 – Family Link panel
The Family Link Panel will consider your application and will make a decision on your suitability to become a Family Link carer.
Step 4 – Approval and placement
Once you are approved as a Family Link carer, we will work closely with you to find the right family for you to work with as a Family Link carer. This will include building a relationship with the family and the child to ensure the link will work well for both families.