The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Befriender Scheme is part of the short break care provision for disabled children and young people living in the borough.
Sessional workers help children to join in all sorts of social and recreational activities. A social worker from the Social Work Team for Disabled Children must first assess the child and recommend that a referral to the Home and Community Support Team is made.
Once appointed, the sessional worker is linked to a child. When planning a link, we carefully look at the experience and interests of the sessional worker and the time they have available. This makes sure that the child or young person is linked to someone they will enjoy being with.
An agreement meeting is held at the child's home, organised by the scheme co-ordinator, to discuss practical issues regarding the link and to ensure that the sessional worker is fully aware of the needs of the child.
Sessional workers respond to recruitment campaigns and adverts on the website. Sometimes a family may know someone who could become a sessional worker for their child.
All applicants must fill in application forms. Suitable candidates are interviewed and Disclosure and Barring checks and references are taken up. Sessional workers are employed by the borough.
Sessional workers receive an hourly rate of pay. Parents are asked to meet the expenses of session activities for both the child and the sessional worker.
Sessional workers receive training appropriate to the child's needs. They are also encouraged to take up further training and support while they are involved with the scheme and will also work in groups as well as receive one to one support.
Sessional workers are supported by the short break care team. They are expected to attend supervision meetings, and their work will be reviewed annually.
If you are a parent, carer or disabled child and would like further information about how to access the Home and Community Support service for your child, please contact your social worker or duty social worker in the Disabled Children's Service.
If you do not have a social worker or duty social worker or are unsure, please contact the Single Point of Access on 020 8547 5008 for further advice.
Short Break Care Team
Moor Lane Centre
Telephone: 020 8547 5044
Updated: 10 July 2017