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4.4 Short Breaks at Preventative Level (Aiming High)

SCOPE OF CHAPTER

This chapter takes account of:

  • Children Act 1989;
  • Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011.

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

Swindon Borough Council Short Breaks Statement

AMENDMENT

The chapter was updated in March 2018 with updated versions of SBC Short breaks statement and Short Breaks questionnaire. The guidance in Section 2, Preventative Short Breaks through the Aiming High Short Breaks Team was also extensively revised.


Contents

  1. The Legal Context for Short Breaks at Preventative Level
  2. Preventative Short Breaks through the Aiming High Short Breaks Team

    Appendix 1: Short Breaks Questionnaire Form


1. The Legal Context for Short Breaks at Preventative Level

Short breaks provide opportunities for parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities to have a break from their caring responsibilities. Short breaks also enable children and young people with disabilities to enjoy social and leisure activities. 

The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011 detail how local authorities must perform their duty in the Children Act 1989 to provide, as part of the range of services they provide for families, breaks from caring for carers of disabled children to support them to continue to care for their children at home and to allow them to do so more effectively. 

In summary, the Regulations require that, in performing their duty under paragraph 6(1)(c) of Schedule 2 to the 1989 Act, a local authority must:

  • Ensure that, when making short break provision, they have regard to the needs of different types of carers, not just those who would be unable to continue to provide care without a break;
  • Provide a range of breaks, as appropriate, during the day, night, at weekends and during the school holidays; and
  • Provide parents with a Short Breaks Services Statement detailing the range of available breaks and any eligibility criteria attached to them (see Swindon Borough Council Short Breaks Statement).


2. Preventative Short Breaks through the Aiming High Short Breaks Team

Short breaks provided through the Aiming High Short Breaks Team are at a preventative level, and do not require a statutory assessment.

The Aiming High Short Breaks Team provides open access information, advice and signposting to support all families of children with a disability (aged 0-18th birthday). Guidance levels of additional support are as set out in the Swindon Borough Council Short Breaks Statement. Each case is dealt with on an individual basis, recognising that there will be exceptional circumstances.

What is the Process?

  • Family requires support to enable a child or young person with disabilities to access a social activity or to give their parent/carer(s) a break from caring. They may already have an activity in mind or may be unsure what is available. The family can contact the Aiming High Team, or a professional can do this for them. Page 1 of the Appendix 1: Short Breaks Questionnaire Form should be completed by the referring professional or, where families self-refer, by the Aiming High Team;
  • On receipt of the enquiry, an Inclusion and Outreach Worker will aim to contact the family within one month to discuss and, if appropriate, arrange to visit. The Inclusion and Outreach Worker will complete the rest of the Appendix 1: Short Breaks Questionnaire Form with the parent/carer(s) to look at their needs as carers, the needs of the disabled child(ren) and any siblings. This is not an assessment. The Short Breaks Questionnaire is a tool used in partnership with the family, to discuss their individual needs and look at the type of short breaks that would be most suitable;
  • The Swindon Borough Council Short Breaks Statement sets out the types and levels of short breaks support provided. Support is tailored to meet individual needs and could range from information and advice about activities, extra support to enable the child to access an activity (e.g. a Support Worker) or the provision of specialist services;
  • If things change or services no longer meet the needs, the family can contact the Aiming High Short Breaks Team again at any time. We recognise that every family is different, and that needs may change over time. For example, the family may no longer require a service from Aiming High, or their needs may increase and require an Early Help Record/Plan or a Social Care assessment;
  • If the preventative levels of support available through the Aiming High Team are insufficient and the child/family need higher levels of support, a referral should be made for the families' needs to be assessed through Swindon's assessment process. See Initial Contacts and Referrals.


Appendix 1: Short Breaks Questionnaire Form

Click here to view Appendix 1: Short Breaks Questionnaire Form.

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