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Family Link - give a little time, make a big difference

Date: 26 April 2022
Author: Katie and Colin Carroll
Title: Family Link Carers

Family link is a wonderful overnight short break service for disabled children. Achieving for Children’s (AfC) family link carers provide regular overnight care in their own homes, usually one weekend a month, to carefully matched children. This provides opportunities for disabled children to have fun new social experiences within a family home environment. It also enables family link carers to develop some valuable long term positive relationships, as Katie are Colin Carroll who are carers explained.

'It goes without saying, our friendship with our link child has been one of the most rewarding of our lives.'

Two families, one fantastic link child

'We came across family link whilst looking into fostering and it’s proved to be a great experience for all involved – first and foremost the wonderful young man we care for, who loves his ‘sleepovers’, which in turn enables his parents to enjoy some time out, confident of his care.  And we have discovered a whole new skillset! Lack of experience shouldn’t deter you, as the training from AfC is first-class and will more than equip you to take on this thoroughly rewarding role.'

'Family link has been a lifeline for our family. It’s not just knowing that our son is brilliantly cared for and having that vital 24 hours’ break from caring for him. It’s also knowing that the dates are in the diary and that some respite is coming. And that bond that our son has with his carers has been remarkable to witness. I knew that as parents we would benefit, but I didn’t anticipate the richness and depth of relationship that would develop between our son and his family link carers. This is an invaluable scheme that all parties benefit from. Please consider it if you can.'

AfC are looking to grow the family link service and would love to hear from anyone who may feel they could offer one weekend a month, or more, depending on your availability. You don’t need any special qualifications, but you do have to be passionate about helping disabled children and their families. Full support and training is provided, plus an allowance for when your link child stays with you.

If you feel you have what it takes to be a part of this wonderful service, please get in touch with our family link social worker, Katie Morello. katie.morello@achievingforchildren.org.uk

 

 

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Updated: 28 June 2022