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Fresh appeal for short break foster carers in national Share the Care Week 8.02.10

Sutton Council is making a fresh appeal for short breaks foster carers in national Share the Care Week (7-14 March 2010).

Short breaks fostering involves looking after a child with a disability or learning difficulty on some weekends or occasional days during school holidays to give their families a break from day-to-day care.

Sutton is looking for 20 new part time carers and appealing to residents to consider taking advantage of this rewarding opportunity.

Carers would receive all the benefits of being a foster carer including excellent support, training and a competitive financial package.

Short breaks is the most requested service by families of disabled children and there is a particularly high demand in Sutton for help for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and aspergers syndrome.

Local teaching assistants Toni Baldwin 31, and Natalie Endacott, 30, who have been short breaks carers with Sutton for three years, said: "Short Breaks can be a lifeline for some families and play an essential part of keeping their relationships healthy and home life happy.

"The families we have been involved with were always so grateful for the time, knowing that their child was out and about having a great time with familiar carers.

"We have really enjoyed building a steady relationship with children and their families while also getting the chance to do fun things like going to Chessington World of Adventures or London Zoo.

"The council gives great support and training and it is so rewarding we really would encourage others to give it a go."

Cllr Tony Brett Young, Executive Member for Young People said: "Although becoming a short breaks foster carer is not a full time position and can be taken on by people in full time employment or with busy lifestyles, the importance of the role should not be underestimated.

"It gives families a much needed break and the children a different outlook on life and support network which they might not get if they were placed in a residential home for short periods. In Sutton we always look to care for children within the family environment.

""My family and I were involved in a similar scheme in Sutton for a number of years and we all found it enormously rewarding.

"Some short breaks carers become almost like an extended member of the family and make such a difference to the children they are matched with.

"I urge more people to take on this rewarding opportunity and come forward to learn more about short breaks fostering."

The council's drive for carers runs alongside the 'Big Breaks' campaign run by short breaks charity 'Shared Care Network' which aims to double the number of disabled children in the UK getting short break services to 20,000 by the year 2012.

To become a Short Break foster carer, contact Sutton Fostering on 020 8770 4250, email or visit and complete the online form.

Last updated: Monday, 12 April 2010

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