Council urges residents to become connect carers

​Date: 09/06/2014
PR: 4591

Wakefield Council is urging local people to help make a difference to the lives of children who have disabilities and their families by becoming a Connect carer.

Connect Care is one of a range of short-break services available for families caring for a disabled child in the Wakefield district. Carers provide regular, planned short-breaks, to children aged 0-18 who have a physical or learning disability or sensory impairment.

Breaks range from a few hours to one or two days a month, giving children the opportunity to enjoy new experiences within a safe, home-from-home environment.

Cllr Olivia Rowley, cabinet member for Children and Young People said: "We are encouraging local people who are enthusiastic, caring and committed to helping families, to join the Connect Service and support disabled children throughout the Wakefield district."

"You need to have a spare bedroom for a child to stay overnight, or be a registered child minder with a "Good" Ofsted grading to provide day care. Carers will receive payments each time a child stays with them and will be supported with on-going training, advice and help."

Anne Merton who is a Connect Carer said: "I had been approached several times by a friend who was convinced that I had the skills to become a Connect carer. I contacted the connect service for information and I decided that it was something that could easily fit in my life.

"The training was very useful and it's also a chance to get to know the other members of the Connect Service as well. Before I look after a new child I receive individual specific training and further support on how to meet their needs to help me to care for them.

"When I am matched with a child, the Connect Social Worker gives me a profile of a child that needs a placement I will only agree to take a child if I feel that I can give them the best care. As a carer you have to bear in mind your own health and care needs that are really important.

"When the children visit we tend to have busy activity mornings and go out if the weather is okay. We might go on a nature trail or to the cinema, then in the afternoon we'll do something back at home.

"I get a lot of pleasure thinking I am helping a child achieve whatever they can. Children are funny. There's never a dull moment, whether they have a disability or not."