Renfrewshire Council

Residential respite care

87 families within Renfrewshire currently benefit from the residential respite service. There are six units in total, two in Renfrewshire and others outwith the authority.

An assessment of a young person's needs followed by a presentation to an inter-agency resource panels is needed before being considered for residential respite. If it is agreed by all concerned that respite would help, then a placement is identified and a number of nights each year are agreed. There can sometimes be a wait for a suitable place to become available.

Loom Walk, a six-bedded unit provided by National Children's Homes (NCH) Renfrewshire Family Support, is one of the respite units we work closely with. It is situated in Kilbarchan. Each child is allocated their own room, and is able to personalise their own space by bringing in videos/dvds, favourite toys or books to offer comfort and a sense of 'home from home'. Loom Walk is a detached purpose-built bungalow with secure entry and a large garden, a sensory room, dining room and communal lounge area. Historically, this unit was used by children with profound disabilities, but over the last couple of years the children accessing the service have had a wide range of disabilities including autism, Downs syndrome, cerebral palsy and developmental delay, with ages running from 5 up to 19 years.

It also has its own minibus which is fully adapted to transport children who use wheelchairs. Staff regularly support children to access leisure activities within the community including cinema, visits to parks, the beach and ten pin bowling. A key worker system is also in operation which means there would be one specific member of staff linked with a child and a personal care plan is developed outlining all needs, likes and dislikes.

When a child initially starts at Loom Walk, the introduction process is gradual and runs at the pace of the family, usually beginning with a number of teatime visits before progressing to an overnight stay. Staff at loom Walk endeavour to match each young person with an appropriate peer group where possible.

If you think your son or daughter may benefit from this form of respite provision then you could discuss this with your social worker. Don't worry if you do not currently have an allocated worker as the team run a duty system where you could speak to a duty worker about an assessment in order to access services.

It is important to point out that each child's needs are individual and residential respite is not necessarily the right option for everyone therefore other services can be considered.