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This depends where you live and whether you are on direct payments. Some Authorities will pay a contribution towards mileage (but not admissions or food and drink) otherwise you will be asked to pay for your child to be taken to activities. If you want your child learn social skills and be taken to a restaurant you can choose to pay for the worker’s meal. This isn’t a requirement but please note that they may only have funds to buy themselves a drink.

It is fine for your carer to have a cup of tea and chat with you about the care of your child and maybe even sit down to some food with your family as long as it is benefitting the child and perhaps helping their social skills. This would need to be within the worker’s session times as we discourage staff from socialising with families outside of work hours as this can create a variety of problems.

All our staff are trained in maintaining professional boundaries and are used to putting parents at ease. They will respect your home and your privacy and will only access rooms needed to support your child. They are not there to judge you so don’t feel you need to tidy up first so long as they can look after your child safely, i.e. keeping the floor area clear for using a hoist.

Our workers are paid to support the child. If cooking is a learning activity then it is expected that the worker will tidy the kitchen; with the child where possible. Some workers may iron a few of the child’s clothes if they are working a waking night and are not required to attend the child constantly.

It is not acceptable for staff to work with families on a private basis, as this could lead to the blurring of professional boundaries. It could lead to staff and families becoming over-friendly and unable to challenge issues should they arise. Staff would neither be covered by insurance nor would be working safely, guided by company policies and procedures and there could be confusion over bookings and invoicing.

Furthermore it would limit the availability of staff to work with other families and affect the ongoing sustainability of the service which Care Forum provides, due to the loss of quality staff. We therefore request you not to embarrass staff by asking them to work on a private basis.

We have a duty of care when we look after your child and are required to report any concerns of the child being at risk of harm to Social Services. We are not there to spy on people and will tell you if we are worried.

We will contact you by phone from time to time to make sure you are happy with our service and we will also visit you once a year to complete a review and see if anything needs changing. The carers will write a daily report after each session which is read in the office. We use this information to update care plans and make sure your child is safe from potential risks, enjoying themselves and we are meeting desired outcomes.

We try to involve the child as much as possible in planning their care and activities. We will also ask you what outcomes you want to gain from receiving the support. We will try to think up ideas of things to do and places to go to make the sessions fun and developmental and will always check with you first.

We ask that you give us 25 hours’ notice of cancellations so that we can let the carer know. We need to pay the carer otherwise so if you cancel later than this then we will need to charge you or the Local Authority and you would lose these hours off your allocation. If your child is ill and we can find alternative work for the carer instead then we will not charge.

No. We do not place male carers with female children to protect everyone involved.

No. Carers are prohibited from taking children to their own homes. They can only support in the community or at the child’s own home.

We are only insured to look after the child that has been referred to us by Social Services. If care is needed for a sibling this would need to be agreed and risk assessed and a care plan written.

Most of the support we provide is directly commissioned and paid for by Social Services. If you believe you need support with your child with a disability then call your local Social Services Children with Disabilities team and ask for an assessment of need.

Yes we do. Some Authorities do not pay enough to purchase from agencies so please call us for more information or speak to your social worker. We provide 30% of our support through Direct Payments. Invoices are sent out by the middle of the month following receipt of signed staff timesheets for the previous month.

We always do our utmost to keep the same workers with families and many have worked with the same children for years. If your child needs a lot of care hours and possibly every weekend then we would need to introduce more than one worker. Occasionally children need two workers if they have complex needs or behaviours. We also try to introduce back-up workers in case the regular worker is on leave or unwell. If you prefer several carers to lessen the chance of your child becoming too attached then we can try that too.

We always try to match our carers carefully to the children and family to ensure compatibility but we are mindful that sometimes the chemistry just does not work or the child doesn’t like the pitch of their voice or colour of their car! In these instances we will try to resolve the problem but if nothing can be done we will introduce a different worker instead.

We do not like our workers holding keys to people’s properties so if they need regular access when you are not around we ask you to install a simple keysafe. If it is a rare occasion we may ask you to put the door key in your child’s school bag or leave it with a neighbour.