"This is where Action for Children, a charity being supported by The Times Christmas Appeal, comes in. In one of many shared-care schemes that the charity operates throughout Britain, David and Wendy West, from Oakdale, near Blackwood, South Wales, now look after Dion for a weekend every fortnight, offering Ms Evans a respite from the demands of his constant care. “He just becomes part of the family every other weekend,” Mrs West, who has two daughters of her own, said. “We go walking the dogs, to the cinema, out for a picnic or to church on a Sunday. Whatever we are doing, he fits in.”
Having looked after Dion for seven years, the Wests are familiar with his medication and dietary needs, much of which fills the little Spider-Man suitcase that he brings with him when he comes to stay. They became interested in shared care as a less committed option after considering long-term fostering, and now look after Sian, an 18-year-old girl with Williams syndrome, a rare condition that results in learning and developmental problems."
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Times charity: Action for Children: The part-time parents who help struggling families to cope with a labour of love - Times Online: