Adult and Children’s Services Cabinet Member – minutes – 20 October 2011

29 (29) SHORT BREAKS STATEMENT – The Director of Children and Young People’s Service submitted a report outlining the council’s statutory duties in relation to short breaks for disabled children, and seeking approval for the North Lincolnshire Framework for access to Short Breaks. 

Aiming High for Disabled Children: Better Support for Families, launched in May 2007 and ending in March 2011 was the recent national transformation programme for disabled children’s services.  The programme included the development of additional quality short breaks for disabled children and young people and was supported by substantial Government financial instrument. 

‘The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011’ came into force on 1 April 2011.  The introduction of this legislation emphasised the governments’ ongoing commitment to improving outcomes for disabled children and their families as a priority group.  The ongoing commitment was financially supported through the Early Intervention Grant. 

The regulations placed new duties on councils.  One of those was to provide a Short Break Services Statement.  This was a ‘statement’ which would inform carers in the area of the range of short breaks services in the area and how they could be accessed including how any eligibility for the services would be assessed.  The statement had to be prepared in consultation with local carers of disabled children, be kept under review and revised as appropriate to maintain sufficiency. 

The report gave details of the council’s development of short break services and consultation and evaluation that had taken place in order to inform the detail of the short break statement. 

In order to achieve legal compliance with eligibility criteria and to manage access in a consistent manner a North Lincolnshire Framework for Access and Eligibility had also been developed. 

Resolved – (a) That the council’s duties under the Breaks for Carer’s of Disabled Children regulations be acknowledged, and (b) that the Short Breaks Statement be approved.