June Short Breaks Carer

A short breaks foster carer sat on a sofa in her home

June has been a short breaks foster carer with Liverpool for 27 years! 

One weekend a month June looks after a young person with a neuro disability and learning difficulties to give him one to one support and care. 

As a short breaks carer June isn't just giving a young person the attention, care, and new experiences to help him develop, but she provides a vital lifeline and source of support for his whole family, giving them time and space to spend time with their other children, to go to places they may not normally get the opportunity to, and to have some time to rest and recharge.

As a short breaks carer you become a regular support for a child with additional needs, and support their family over a period of time - by offering regular weekend or school holiday support by caring for their child. 

How did you become a short breaks carer?

I think I'd already started doing it by accident. A friend had a child with additional needs, Dad went to work away and she was struggling taking the other little boy to football. So I used to have her for a couple of hours of a weekend and it became more regular. 

Eventually mum asked me whether I'd consider becoming a short breaks carer. I wasn't aware that there was such a thing until mum asked, and the little one then came to me regularly with the support of social services. That's how I became a short break carer.

Of course, when she moved on, then they asked me if I could I place another child. I was happy to do so where I had a lot of support, and a lot of training in place.

Can you remember a moment that stands out?

I once looked after a young man, who's 18th Birthday I went to, and his mum showed me a list that he had created of things he would like to do. He had been to collage and said he enjoyed it, alongside this on the list was 'going to June's' meaning coming to visit me!

It's one weekend a month where that little bit of extra effort you might need to support that child, is appreciated so much by that child and their family.


How old were your children when you became a short breaks carer?

My son was about seven and he was an only child, so he absolutely loved the fact that he had a someone to play with, somebody he could help, and they could do things together.

The funding and allowances you get as a short breaks carer meant that the three of us were able to go out and spend quality time together. 

He loved having the children here and there are some of the children that he still keeps in contact with or if they're out, they'll meet up and have a chat.

What are some of the challenges you have faced?

Most challenges can be solved by me phoning the parents.  I have a social worker who is there just to support me as a carer and we have a really good professional relationship. I can ask her about anything and she'll get back to me straight away.

If there's something I'm unsure about, she'll look into what training's available. There's lots of training available online in which you can opt onto yourself, or you can go to training that is more specialist to suit the needs of the child your caring for.

A short breaks foster carer sat on a sofa in her home

There are all these wonderful children and families out there who need this support, and it only takes that one little step to see if it's the right thing for you to do. Me and my family have had wonderful years with the children who have come to stay with us.