The Child Befriending service is provided for children with a moderate to severe disability enabling them to access a wide range of community based activities, recreational pursuits and community events with a one-to-one trained sessional staff member, on a regular basis.
This service provides opportunities for the child to develop their social skills and enjoy participating in activities that the majority of mainstream children take for granted.
The service can provide short-term support for families in crisis, but the majority requires long term input, which enables staff members to build up an ongoing working relationship with the children and families over a long period of time.
Activities are leisure based, focusing on the child's interests. These may include swimming, cinema, bowling, shopping and even support to attend youth groups.
All staff are required to have an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check before working with children. Staff are also required to complete in-house training including hands-on work with special needs children.
Parents of children with severe disabilities should initially contact their social worker to make a referral.
The majority of funding for this service is received from social services in conjunction with referrals made by them for children with severe disabilities who live within the Portsmouth City Boundaries (and those who are in receipt of direct payments). Additional Local Authority funding for 'Short Breaks' enables the service to extend to families of children with moderate to severe disabilities who are not necessarily supported via the statutory social care system. Expenses for activities are additional and must be met by the parents or carers.