Community can help children to live at home

Local people and volunteers can help care for disabled children
in their own homes and at a much lower cost than in specialist
facilities, according to a new report by Barnardo’s

The report, ‘Outcomes For Children 4’, focuses on the work of
Dundee Family Support Team, a partnership between Barnardo’s
Scotland and Dundee council social work department.

Based on a study of the project’s support to children and
young people with profound disabilities and their families, the
report presents a strong argument for community-based care.

Despite the project having only 10 staff, support is provided to
132 families through the commitment of 22 carer families and 65
volunteers. Many of those helped would otherwise be in residential
or specialist facilities rather than in their own communities.

The report points out that it would cost around £2,000 per
week for an autistic child to attend a specialist residential
facility. By contrast the same child can live with respite carers
at a cost of £200 per week. A six-week playscheme for 60
children with disabilities run by volunteers from the project would
have cost £12,000 if delivered by paid staff.

Hugh Mackintosh, director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said:
“Like the parents we work with, we strongly believe that the best
place for most children is within a loving home environment –
provided appropriate support is on hand.

“The key to community-based care is to involve parents, young
people, carers and volunteers in the delivery of service,” he

Copies of ‘Outcomes For Children 4’ from 0131 334 9893

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