Recruitment drive seeking more carers

A shortage of contract, short-break and supported carers has prompted the launch of a new recruitment drive by Scottish Borders Council.

The Contract Carer Scheme is a salaried, contracted role that seeks a commitment of regular support to children and young people, including overnight accommodation.

It usually involves transport of the young person to and from their home and/or school. Contracts are usually on a monthly basis and sometimes include short breaks of a longer nature (long weekend or week) to allow a parent carer to travel away.

The Short Break Carer Scheme supports parents and carers of children who have a disability that is less acute.

These children will have speech and not have a high level of personal care needs, although may still need mobility aids. Carers may take young people out for an afternoon or a day and overnight by special arrangement.

They are paid an allowance and costs, but people are sought for their willingness to help as the money is not enough to be an incentive.

Both contract and short break carers are assessed and approved by an independent panel, with support via a social worker.

The Supported Carer Scheme is for young people moving out of care aged 16 - 21. Carers provide a room and meals in their own home and get a weekly allowance.

Carers provide practical and emotional support and in some cases have supported young people in finding employment or maintaining college or training places. All carers are assessed and receive support.

The young people taken on have all left care, but legislation entitles them to ongoing advice and support from the council until 26 years old.