Short Breaks for Disabled Children and Young People
Short breaks are for parents, carers and others with parental responsibility for disabled children and young people aged between 0 and 18 years old.
Short breaks provide an opportunity for a disabled child or young person to take part in fun activities. Short breaks can take a variety of forms. This includes the provision of day, evening, overnight and weekend activities.
Short breaks can take place in:
- the child’s own home
- in a community setting
- the home of an approved carer
- or in a residential setting
Short breaks can help contribute to the child and young person’s social inclusion and personal development.
The Short Breaks for Disabled Children Information Statement [PDF, 718kb] is for families living in the North Lincolnshire area who have a disabled child/young person aged 0 to 18 years.
The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011 places a statutory duty on local authorities to prepare and publish a ‘statement’ that will inform parents / carers of the range of short break services available.
Short breaks in North Lincolnshire fall into three main areas. These are:
1) Day-time care in the homes of disabled children or elsewhere, which can be provided through:
- Day care – care that takes place on any day of the week. It can include evenings but not overnight stays. The care is provided in the carer’s home and may include activities outside the home. Carers are either approved as foster carers or for children under eight are registered childminders.
- Sitting – care that takes place in the child’s own home on any day of the week. The sitter would be employed by a registered agency or by the parent(s) through Direct Payments. Alternatively, for children under the age of eight, the sitter may be a registered childminder. The main focus of care is within the child’s own home but the sitter may also support the child in community-based activities.
2) Overnight care in the homes of disabled children or elsewhere which can be provided through:
- Overnight sitting – is the same thing as sitting (defined above), but includes overnight care. Parents may or may not be present.
- The Cygnets – a short breaks home providing overnight short breaks to children with a learning difficulty and complex needs aged five to 18-years-old. The Cygnets is registered as a short break home for children / young people of either gender aged between 5 years and 18 years who have a learning disability. This includes those with a learning disability who also have complex health needs and / or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The Cygnets is a specially adapted bungalow and is centrally located close to the town centre, promoting easy access to local services. It offers a family style home environment, where the children and young people are included in the day to day decisions about the care they receive. The service is committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for the young people in their care. A structured short break environment ensures children feel safe and are safe; supports children in their health and emotional well-being; and, helps children to achieve their potential/
- The Butterflies – short break foster scheme provides overnight short breaks to disabled children aged 0 to 18-years-old, whose needs can be best met by more individual care within a family based setting.
3) Educational or leisure activities for disabled children outside their homes, which can be provided through:
- Social Befriending – is a one to one relationship that specifically, enables a child or young person’s access to community or leisure activities.
Disabled children and young people with more complex needs, or those children living in more complex situations, may require a higher level of short breaks and more specialist support to meet their needs. This will be achieved through an assessment by a children’s specialist disability social worker.
To meet the criteria for overnight short breaks disabled children and young people are assessed as having additional needs, which impact on the family, causing sleep deprivation for family members and or high levels of family stress.
To meet the criteria for the play scheme children and young people must be:
- registered with North Lincolnshire Council for Short Breaks
- attending a school/facility for children with special educational needs
- unable to benefit from short break activities in the community without additional
To be eligible for short breaks services the child or young person must have a disability and live in North Lincolnshire.
Access to ‘short breaks’ is through the Short Breaks and External Provisions Teams. Parents and carers are asked to register their child for short breaks with this team as a first point of contact.
A member of the Short Breaks team will then contact you to discuss your needs and to make sure you have information about the short break services available to you.
In order to be consistent in how we make the services available to you we have developed a “North Lincolnshire Short Breaks Framework.” This enables us to take a tiered approach to assessment for and allocation of short break services.
At the first level we have introduced a “local minimum offer”. This is an allocation of short beak hours without the need for any assessment. At this initial level there are 78 sessions of group based activities that can be used throughout the year
Support available to all children and young people with SEN or disabilities
At the first level we have introduced a “local minimum offer”. This is an allocation of short beak hours without the need for any assessment. At this initial level there are 78 sessions that can be used throughout the year.
Support available for children and young people with SEN or disabilities who require additional support over and above that provided routinely as part of universal services
For children and young people who need support over and above the local minimum offer, an Early Help assessment could be completed by any professional working with a child and family or a Short Breaks Officer. It is used to highlight need and support at the earliest possible point.
Support available for children and young people with SEN or disabilities who require specialised, longer term support and those with high needs accessing provision through EHC Plans
For children and young people with the most complex health care needs, a Children’s Services assessment can be requested through the Integrated Multi Agency Partneship on 01724 296500.
With parents and carers
Parents/carers are consulted on a regular basis through:
- child and young person’s review of the service
- work closely with the Parents in Participation (PIP Forum)
- consult through outreach events in the three networks in North Lincolnshire
With children and young people
Children and young people are consulted using a variety of different commuication methods:
- during any statutory reviews
- within their school settingduring Short Break activities
- during any respite provision