Anita Tameside Family Link Scheme

Children with Disabilities

Why have such a scheme?

We are aware that children with disabilities present their families with a mixture of rewards and challenges.

Parents have told us of the physical or emotional demands often made on them as they try to offer their child as normal a family life as possible.

Some parents have found, for example, they cannot share as fully as they would wish in the activities of their other children and may even find these are curtailed.

Others feel too tired to organise social activities for themselves and are reluctant to ask for help from friends or relatives.

We believe that by using the scheme many families are helped in their desire to offer ordinary and new experiences to their child.

How does the scheme work?

We have been able to link many families to respite care families and after lengthy introductions, when all concerned have felt confident, the child has begun to stay for short periods with his/her respite care family. Each family and child have different needs, for example some parents welcome a regular weekend stay for their child every four weeks. Others have needed a Monday - Friday stay, others an odd overnight stay. We try to be flexible and to offer the amount of care best suited to the needs of the child and their family.

The children are involved fully in the life of the respite care families whilst they are in their homes. At all times "linked" families remain in touch with each other and in very many cases long-standing friendships have grown up over the years.

Would it be suitable for your child?

The only way to be sure the scheme is acceptable to you is to find out about it, meet other families who are using it, and perhaps talk to some respite care families. We do not expect instant decisions and some families have thought over the possible use of the scheme for as long as twelve months.

Children currently using the scheme range in age from 0 - 18 years. The children and young people have a range of needs, including those with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and children with autistic spectrum disorder.

All children are individuals and their individual needs are carefully considered.

How are respite care families approved?

All prospective applicants to the scheme are offered a preparation programme, including discussion with parents, visits to schools and short stay establishments where they can meet a number of children and also become familiar with the staff. They undergo the same full, formal approval procedure as foster or adopted parents and their application must be formally approved by the Fostering Panel and Head of Department.

Does this mean your child is received into the care of the authority?

No, the arrangements made are entirely at your request.

How do you find out more?

For an informal chat or if you would like to find out more information, please contact us:

Contact Information
Contact by Post

Duty Officer
Integrated Service for Children with Additional Needs
Jubilee Gardens
Gardenfold Way
M43 7XU
Contact by Telephone
0161 371 2060
Contact by Fax
0161 371 2061
Contact by Minicom
0161 371 2076