Short Breaks Statement consultation

Closed 6 Aug 2021

Opened 18 May 2021

Overview

Local authorities are required by law to publish a Short Breaks Statement of services for disabled children and young people and their families, under the Children Act 1989 and the Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011.

A Short Breaks Statement explains the range of short breaks on offer, who they are for, and how to apply for them. 

Cumbria County Council’s current Short Breaks Statement was written in 2016. We are proposing to make changes to the Statement to bring it up to date.

Why your views matter

We are re-launching the consultation on our Short Breaks Statement, which was paused in March this year. Since March, we have engaged with parents and carers to coproduce the new draft Statement.

We would like to invite parents and carers to comment on this revised Short Breaks Statement.

Local authorities are required by law to publish a Short Breaks Statement of services for disabled children and young people and their families, under the Children Act 1989 and the Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011.

A Short Breaks Statement explains the range of short breaks on offer, who they are for, and how to apply for them. 

Cumbria County Council’s current Short Breaks Statement was written in 2016. We are proposing to make changes to the Statement to bring it up to date.

There are important differences between the current statement and the new proposed statement. The proposed statement includes:

  • Transparent qualifying criteria
  • An online annual application process
  • An opportunity for reassessment if you think you need more support (using the Resource Allocation System assessment)
  • A process to appeal a decision

Here is a brief outline of the new proposed statement:

  • Short breaks are for children and young people aged 0-18 with disabilities, who live in Cumbria. Adult Social Care provides Short Breaks for young people aged 19-25 and the Statement gives you more information on this
  • We offer a range of short breaks because everyone's needs and circumstances are different. We aim to give families the right support at the right time.
  • The aim is to benefit the whole family. Short breaks give young people opportunities to socialise and develop, while giving the family a break from caring duties.
  • Families asked us to make it qualifying criteria more transparent. We have coproduced these criteria with parents and carers.
  • Families asked us to make the application process easier, so we propose to introduce an online application process. (Families can still use a paper system if they prefer).
  • Universal short breaks are activities available to all young people.
  • Targeted short breaks are activities specially designed for children and young people with disabilities, who are not able to take part in universal activities without additional support. To access Targeted Activities you must:
  • Be ordinarily resident in Cumbria, and
  • Have a disability as defined in the Statement, and
  • Have an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan), and
  • Be within the academic year groups Year 1 to Year 13.

If you complete the application process and meet these criteria, you will be able to choose from a range of activities, up to a maximum of 76 hours per year.

If you feel that your child and family’s needs are greater than the support offered at the Targeted level, any child with a disability is entitled to an assessment of need under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989. 

  • Specialist and overnight Short Breaks services are for children and young people with the most complex needs, offering an individualised support package. It is accessed by requesting a Child and Family assessment which will be undertaken by a Social Worker in the Children with Disabilities Team.
  • The Resource Allocation Tool. The Child and Family assessment uses the Resource Allocation Tool to determine the level of support needed and to ensure a consistent approach across the county. The intention for the future is for this to be used collaboratively with the Team Around the Child and the Parents/Carers. The support range for each cohort has not yet been determined but will be shared when available.
  • Social Care Personal Budgets can be requested for all or specific parts of your assessed care package.

You can read the draft Short Breaks Statement in the Related Documents section below.

What happens next

Thank you for giving us your views on the draft Short Breaks Statement. All responses will be reviewed and if necessary the Statement will be amended taking your responses into account before being published.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Parents
  • Carers
  • People with disabilities
  • People with learning difficulties

Interests

  • Disability
  • Primary schools
  • Secondary schools
  • Nursery education
  • Sixth form/FE colleges
  • Childrens social care
  • Adoption and fostering