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Francis House: Offering Respite for Families of Autistic Children & Young People

Francis House: Offering Respite for Families of Autistic Children & Young People

On the 17th July 2015 Catholic Care opened the doors to its first children’s home in nearly 20 years located on the outskirts of Bradford, to care for and support young people from across the Diocese who have learning disabilities, particularly autism.

The home was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Joanne Dodds, who attended along with staff from former Catholic Care homes and professionals from health and social care.

The Charity has invested £70,000 in refurbishing the home so it can meet the special needs of the new group of children who will benefit from a stay. Carol Hill, Director of Catholic Care said: “there is a great need for a service for children with learning disabilities, particularly those with autism”.

The new home offers both residential respite and short stay care for children and young people to have an enjoyable and rewarding break from their families who themselves can benefit from a much needed rest. Day care is also available for those not wishing to stay overnight.

With the help of highly qualified staff, children and young people will be encouraged to develop their social, communication and life skills while enjoying the facilities the home has to offer, including personalised bedroom, chill out room and a large enclosed back garden featuring trampoline, slides and a splash pool.

Children can be referred for a stay at Francis House through their social worker or can access its support independently. Jamie Varley, Registered Manager at Francis House, commented: “diagnosis for conditions such as autism has come on greatly and is undertaken a lot earlier now. We’re currently working with children as young as 3 years old in our community based family support service. Maybe 10 years ago a child would be lucky to be diagnosed by their 10th or 11th birthday, now they can receive this diagnosis as young as 2.”

Carol Hill added: “we look forward to welcoming the first children to enjoy a stay in our new home”.