Short Breaks provide children and young people with disabilities with an opportunity to spend time away from their parents or primary carers, relaxing and having fun with their friends.
They provide families with a ‘break’ from their caring responsibilities; they give parents a chance to unwind rest or spend time with other children.
Short Breaks can include any activity for a disabled child or young person from up to an hour in a universally available inclusive club or activity to attending a specialised setting for a few sessions or days as determined necessary by a specialist assessment carried out by the Children with Disability Team (e.g. holiday play schemes and short breaks with family to family carers).
The Local Authority are required to publish a Short Breaks Statement so that children and young people together with their parents/carers and families can find out about their eligibility for an assessment to use short break opportunities available in Torbay that are funded through the Children with Disability Team.
Criteria for assessment
The Children with Disabilitiy Team criteria for assessment is a condition diagnosed by a doctor or consultant which is substantial, long lasting, permanent, physical and/or learning disability or a life limiting, life threatening condition.
These may include:
- severe learning disabilities
- severe physical disabilities
- severe developmental delay in motor and or cognitive functioning
- profound multiple disabilities
- severe sensory impairment (registered blind and profoundly deaf)
- complex and severe health problems that arise from the disability, that are life threatening, degenerative illness or organic disorder resulting in severe disability
- a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Condition with an associated learning disability and where the condition severely affects day to day functioning (When making reference to a “Learning Disability” the definition applied is the same that is used for the Children’s Learning Disability Health Team criteria of Learning Disability).
Information for parents or carers of children and young people with disabilities WHO DO NOT MEET THE CRITERIA for the Children with Disability Team:
The criteria for referral and assessment from the Children with Disabilities Social Care Team would not include a child or young person with the following diagnoses, (unless they have other conditions that meet the criteria as detailed in their criteria):
- most Autistic Spectrum Conditions including Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, emotional and behavioural difficulties, Oppositional Defiance Disorder;
- mild physical disabilities
- Mild Learning Disability
- Mild Global Developmental Delay
- speech and language difficulties
- sensory disabilities only
- controlled epilepsy
- mental health conditions.
In Torbay, parents or carers of children and young people with disabilities who do not meet the Children with Disability Team criteria can access Short Breaks in the following ways:
- looking at the Torbay Local Offer for general information about inclusive or universally available specialist clubs, groups, and organisations
- calling the Torbay Family Information Service for general advice and information about inclusive or universally available specialist clubs, groups, and organisations
- contacting the Early Help Service for information, advice and support to help decide what service/s may be on offer to the family as a whole
- completing and submitting an Early Help assessment, when the level of need and family situation is more complex and involves two or three needs that are likely to require several services to work together.
Information for parents or carers of children and young people with disabilities WHO MEET THE CRITERIA for the Children with Disability Team:
In Torbay, parents or carers of children and young people with disabilities who meet the Children with Disability Team Criteria can access Short Breaks in the following ways:
- contacting the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Children’s Social Care on 01803 208100 – to request ‘an assessment of need’, where the level of the child’s disability or the impact of the disability on family life is such that a more complex/larger package of support is required
- contacting the child or young persons’ Children with Disability Social Worker, where a social worker has already been allocated.