Document sets out Short Break options for Carers

A SHORT break enables Carers to have regular periods away from their caring routines or responsibilities.

And now information about the many different options for planned short breaks within Dumfries and Galloway is being promoted in a new document to Carers, the person or people they care for and to supported people who have no unpaid Carer.

Strategic Planning and Commissioning Manager Linda Owen said: “Carers play an incredibly important role in our region, providing a range of support to individuals across communities in Dumfries and Galloway.

“The support provided by unpaid Carers improves the health and wellbeing of individuals with support needs. It enables people being supported to live at home and to be part of their communities.

“A break from a caring role can be vital to maintain the health and wellbeing of a Carer.

“And a break from normal routine can benefit the person with support needs by providing opportunities to enjoy social interaction through play, leisure and recreation activities.”

Linda added: “The Short Break Services Statement is intended to make sure that Carers and cared for people know that they can have a break in a range of different ways, and that they know about the sorts of short breaks that are available.

“It’s also aimed at ensuring they have choice in the support they can access, and that they can identify what a short break means for them and how they can be supported to meet needs and achieve outcomes.”

The newly-published ‘Short Break Service Statement’ recognises that everyone is different, and that therefore not every short break will be the same.

Dumfries and Galloway promote an individual, creative, person-centred approach to short breaks that will meet the individual nature of the needs of each person.

A break may be for short or extended periods, take place during the day or overnight, involve the person with support needs having a break away from home allowing the Carer time for themselves and enable the Carer to have a break away from caring by temporarily providing replacement care, if required.

For Young Carers, having a break from their caring role can allow them to build on their self esteem and confidence. It may also enable the Young Carer to try out a new hobby or interest and meet other people.

Some Carers will be happy and able to organise and fund a short break for themselves and/or the person they care for.

Others may need some help and support to access services only available through social work services to fund a short break or to discuss options for appropriate short breaks. The statement provides definitions of the different types of breaks on offer.

The statement is about supporting planned short breaks and does not focus on breaks that occur due to emergencies or crisis with the Carer or the cared for person.

In addition to highlighting local short break options, it links to breaks available elsewhere in Scotland.

It also provides a link to the Short Breaks Services Statement of all other Scottish local authority areas – on the Shared Care Scotland website.

The Short Break Services Statement has been developed taking on board the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, which places a legislative requirement to provide support to Carers, including considering if a Short Break would help meet the Carer’s outcomes. The Act also requires that a statement is published which sets out  information about Short Breaks, including what services are available for Carers and the people they support is published.

The Social Care (Self-Directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 states that Carers should be provided with information and advice about Self-Directed Support (SDS) options. If a Carer is eligible, staff must offer and explain a range of choices to them and the person they care for, about how support can be provided.

Meanwhile, the Children & Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 places a duty on public services such as Social Work, Education and Health to identify Young Carers. These services must also work together to make sure that the Young Carers are provided with the required support.      

The Short Breaks Statement can be viewed by visiting the Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership website at http://dghscp.co.uk/carers/short-breaks-statements/