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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Initial enquiry

Firstly, speak to one of our social workers to express your interest in becoming a short break carer for children with complex needs.  

You can call us on + 44 (0) 1534 443970  or you can email us.

The duty social worker will discuss your interest and provide you with an overview of the short break carer role and responsibilities.  

Initial visit

Once you have had the chance to read the information and you have decided that you would like to find out more, you can request an initial visit.  

We will meet with you at home to talk more about short break care and answer any questions you have about becoming a short break carer to see whether it's right for you.

Your application

If you wish to apply and we're in agreement with this, we'll give you an application form and help you to complete it and return it to us.  

The timescale from application to approval varies and can take on average 4 months. This is also dependent on your availability. 


All short break carers are expected to undertake some basic training in relation to their role. This will involve three sessions over three weeks at approximately three hours.  

The role will be explained to you at your training and you will gain a better understanding of working with children with complex needs.

Checks and references

We have to undertake a number of rigorous checks to ensure the suitability of our short break carers who support vulnerable children and young people. These are in line with national standards and include:

  • Enhanced Criminal Record Bureau checks
  • Social Services
  • other agency checks
  • medical checks
  • personal and employment references

Assessment and next steps

If the outcome of our checks are satisfactory we can proceed with your application. The next step is for a member of our team to visit you at home, over several visits we'll get a more rounded picture of how you would cope with the responsibilities of short break care.  We'll talk about subjects which may influence the way you support a child or young person.

If you are not planning to care for a child or young person in your own home, your family members and partner do not need to be involved in the assessment process, provided they are not involved in any care duties. In some circumstances, we may need to undertake an enhanced DBS check on a family member.

The fostering panel

Your completed assessment will be presented to the Fostering Panel where they will make a recommendation on whether you should be approved as a short break carer. 

You will be given a guide about the members of the panel. You and your assessing social worker will attend this panel and may be asked questions in relation to your assessment.  The Agency Decision Maker will then make the final decision on whether to approve your application. 

Approved Short Break Carer

Once approved, you are registered as a short break carer for the Government of Jersey. Your supervising social worker, alongside a social worker from the Complex needs Team, will help match your skills and circumstances with a child or young person who requires support.

When you are matched with a specific child or young person, you will receive on-going support and training from the Fostering and Adoption Team and key professionals involved with the child or young person you have been matched with.  

Your supervising social worker will visit you regularly and you will be subjected to annual review processes to ensure that you are fit to continue your role. This process will also identify any training or development needs you may require. 

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