Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the challenges carers face and an opportunity to celebrate the hard work and dedication of all unpaid carers.
But there is a big difference between caring for your child, which is part of parenting, and being your child’s carer. It is essential that we recognise that distinction and ensure that these parents receive additional help and support, as well as respect for all they are doing.
Angela, a single mother to two children, both with profound additional needs was referred to Welcare for parenting advice. She knew she needed respite but had been unable to convince any of the agencies she was working with to provide this. Our experienced family support worker saw that Angela was a wonderfully dedicated parent who recognised her children’s additional needs and was working hard to meet them. In addition to the ‘normal’ parenting role Angela had to upskill herself to provide the huge amount of sensory input the children needed. What Angela needed was a break, and most importantly, sleep. One of the children didn’t sleep much at night and was prone to wandering about and potentially endangering themselves or their sibling. Angela had to sleep in the same room and hope that she woke when they got up, never able to sleep deeply or for more than an hour or two at a stretch.
Then the Coronavirus pandemic struck and Angela’s problems were compounded as both children’s schools were closed and they were home 24:7. Now there was no chance of a break and the children’s day to day needs were all encompassing. Welcare’s family support worker could no longer visit but she continued to provide invaluable support, sometimes in seemingly small but actually very important ways. She started texting Angela daily providing gentle encouragement and praise and continued to work hard on getting some regular respite in place. By working in partnership with another agency, Action for Carers, funding has been secured. Unfortunately that can’t take place until lockdown restrictions allow but hopefully it is providing Angela with a glimmer of hope and some light at the end of the tunnel.
If you need help or support at this time, find out how to get in touch here.
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