Respite care is a vital aspect of caring for a child that parents can use to give themselves a well-needed break. Looking after a child or young adult with complex issues can be a round-the-clock task and juggling that with a career and personal life is difficult. This is why respite care can be so beneficial for parents as well as children. Continue reading to find out more about respite care. 

Respite care 

So, what is respite care for a child? The NHS define respite care as “a break from caring, while the person you care for is looked after by someone else.” It allows you to take time for yourself, to rest and reset, or even just to give your other children more time with you. Looking after a child with complex issues 24/7, while working, can lead to exhaustion and, ultimately, health problems. So respite care is hugely beneficial. 

There are lots of respite care options available to parents. A volunteer can sit with the person you care for over the course of a few hours, or you could take them to a short-stay care home for a couple of nights. They could also be taken to a day care centre to give you a much-needed rest in the daytime. There’s even the option to have a paid carer come to your home to look after them under your own roof, in their own space. 

Here’s a full list of the options available for respite care, according to the NHS: 

  • Day care centres 
  • Homecare from a paid carer 
  • Short stay in a care home 
  • Getting friends and family to help 
  • Respite holidays 
  • Sitting services 

Benefits of respite care for children 

Respite care is not only beneficial to parents of children with complex issues, but it can also have a hugely positive impact on the child too. A short break away in a new and stimulating environment can be hugely beneficial to your child. Respite care for children provides a change of scenery and a wealth of new experiences. 

These can be incredibly important for a child or young person’s health and wellbeing. 

Respite care at Seashell

At Seashell, respite care provision is fully adapted to meet the complex needs of the children and young adults placed with us. There are two short break homes that accommodate a maximum of four individuals at Seashell. Our respite short breaks provide an individual bedroom, a personalised care plan, and shared use of the communal living spaces. 

There’s also a sensory room that provides a calm and relaxing environment, as well as offering stimulation and enhanced learning through play. 

At Seashell, we understand that caring for a child with special educational needs and disabilities impacts the family in many different ways. That is why we support families by providing short breaks and respite care at our special needs residential schools for children and young adults, giving parents and carers short breaks from full-time care. This also provides children and young adults with a break in a new environment. 

With our short breaks and respite care, you can take a break from your caring role with the reassurance that your child will be fully supported by our dedicated and highly experienced staff. Our respite care for children offers a change of environments and new experiences, which are incredibly important for a child’s general health and wellbeing. 

If you’d like some more information about our respite care, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0161 610 0100, or email us at