Short Breaks at Local Offer Level (Aiming High)
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter takes account of:
- Children Act 1989;
- Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011.
AMENDMENTThis chapter was revised in March 2021 and the Appendix 1: Short Breaks Questionnaire Form was updated.
1. The Legal Context for Short Breaks at Preventative Level
Short breaks enable children and young people with disabilities to enjoy a range of social and leisure activities outside of school hours. Short breaks also provide opportunities for parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities to have a break from their caring responsibilities.
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). Additional support is offered to children and young people with disabilities who meet the criteria set out in the Swindon Borough Council Short Breaks Statement.
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. 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 parent / carer;
- On receipt of the enquiry, an Inclusion and Outreach Worker will aim to contact the family within two months 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 help identify the support that would be most appropriate. This is not an assessment;
- Swindon's 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, support to access mainstream activities or the provision of Aiming High specialist services. Aiming High will provide a maximum of 80 hours support per year;
- 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 Assessment Procedure.