Respite care: 'I am burnt out - it's a 24/7 job'

A children’s rights lawyer says families in Northern Ireland are on the edge of placing their children into care due to the lack of respite services.

None of the five health trusts have returned to pre-pandemic level of service.

The trusts have confirmed services have been reduced due to facilities being re-purposed to provide emergency care to children who cannot be cared for in a family-type arrangement.

Roisin and Brendan McMackin's 12-year-old daughter, Masie, is autistic and has a learning disability.

At school, Masie has two care assistants to help look after her during the day.

At her home in Beragh, County Tyrone, it is Masie's parents who take care of her.

In the summer months, it is a 24-hour-a-day-job, seven days a week.

Masie has never received any respite care from the Western Trust, according to her mother.

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