Newsome Avenue has recommenced a 24/7 overnight respite service, starting from Friday 11th September, increasing the provision of a specialist Short Breaks Service for children and families.
In line with other respite children's homes within the South Yorkshire area, this overnight service will operate at a reduced level.
Advice has been taken from Public Health, and relevant Government guidance, particularly in respect of personal protective equipment and social distancing, will continue to be followed.
Until the social distancing measures are eased, it will not be possible to return to normal working practices. This means there will be no return to the level of support families were receiving before lockdown in the immediate future. However, this is an important step forward and moves further forward and closer to the normal offer.
A rolling three-week rota has been produced that will allow four young people to receive an overnight respite seven days a week. This rolling rota will allow Newsome Avenue to offer families at least one overnight session per young person, per three week period.
A small group of young people will be offered two overnight sessions within each three-week period - these will be the priority young people who have received additional support previously. We also aim to give some day respite and outreach support.
Councillor Margaret Bruff, Cabinet spokesperson for Children's Services, said: "We appreciate that recent months have been tough for everyone and especially for the families linked to Newsome Avenue.
"Many children won't have understood the restrictions imposed and will have missed contact with friends and the outside world, placing a significant responsibility on their immediate family to keep them safe and entertained.
"We thank all of the parents and carers for their continued understanding of the need to keep the building closed to avoid increased infection in these difficult times, and we acknowledge what that closure will have meant for them as families.
"As guidance relaxes, we will continue to review our offer and seek to increase the overnight respite numbers when it is safe to do so. The safety of children and staff is our priority at all times."
Newsome staff will be in touch with parents and carers individually discuss support plans and to explain how the service will be provided within the current climate.