If you feel you could offer a short break to a child with a disability, the Southern Health and Social Care Trust would love to hear from you.

‘Short Breaks Carers’ are short term foster carers, who care specifically for children with disabilities.

Mr Mark Irwin, Trust Operational Manager for Short Breaks said “Our Short Breaks Carers play an invaluable role in many families’ lives. They offer parents a very welcome break and give children and young people the chance to have their own little bit of independence.

Mr & Mrs Newell have recently been approved as carers for the Children with a Disability Carers Scheme. This is a new service for children with more complex disabilities; or for children who require more time than that normally provided by short breaks.
Mr & Mrs Newell from Kilkeel have recently been approved as carers for the Children with a Disability Carers Scheme. This is a new service for children with more complex disabilities; or for children who require more time than that normally provided by short breaks.

“Carers can come from any ethnic, religious or cultural background. They can be single, couples, male or female, working or not working, with children or without. Extensive training and support is provided to all of our carers on an ongoing basis.​

“If you are interested in becoming a Short Breaks Carer - even if you have no experience but have the energy, commitment and a desire to support a disabled child in the community, the Trust would love to hear from you.”

Gareth and Patricia Newell from Kilkeel have been Short Breaks Carers since 2014 and currently provide care, one at a time, for seven children with disabilities.

Mr & Mrs Newell see their role in providing care for the children as “We’re providing respite, giving their Mummy and Daddy a break” “You do have to be committed and you must have patience” “It’s full of fun and benefits everyone and it’s an opportunity to make a bond with the child.”

Caring for children with disabilities can enrich the lives of the children themselves, of their brothers, sisters, their parents and the lives of the carers also.

If you are interested in providing care for a child with a disability, or for more information please contact the Short Breaks Team.

Telephone: 028 3756 4350

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or check www.southerntrust.hscni.net for more information.