|'Short break carer changed my family's life'|
Carers sought particularly from Asian community
The Asian community in Ealing is being asked to �give a little time and make a big difference� to the lives of families in their community who have a child with disabilities.
Ealing Council wants to raise awareness of the huge impact ordinary people can have on the family life of these families when they become short break carers.
Short break carers are ordinary people who look after a disabled child on a regular basis for anything from a few hours a week to a weekend a month. There is a demand for more carers, in particular people of Muslim faith. There is no such thing as a typical short break carer and people from all ages and backgrounds are needed. They can be older or younger, married or single, retired, unemployed or working. They may or may not have children of their own or their children may have left home. Training, support and payments are provided to help people take on this role.
Some of the families who have benefited from the scheme have said that having a short break carer has completely changed their lives.
The carers help disabled children take a more active part in the life of their community. They do ordinary activities with them, which help the children gain confidence trying new things and meeting new people. At the same time, they give the child's parents a break and a chance to do things which are difficult when caring for a disabled child.
Carole Webb of Family Link, which runs the short break service, said: �We have a significant shortage of Asian carers to help meet the needs of Asian families with disabled children in the borough.
"Children with disabilities progress at a much slower pace compared to other children. However, when I talk to our carers they say it is seeing the �little changes' that make the job of caring for these children so rewarding�.
July 11, 2005