Quote11/1/2012 - Short Break services secured
Families in Cumbria with disabled children will continue to benefit from Short Break services after Cumbria County Council secured provision for another 14 months from the start of February.
Short Breaks provide positive activities for disabled children and young people while enabling their main carers to have a break from their caring responsibilities.
As part of the process to secure Short Break services, the county council tendered contracts for providing the care. Group and individual short services have now been recommissioned to the following providers:
Carlisle & Eden - Carlisle Mencap
Barrow & South Lakeland - Oaklea Trust
Allerdale & Copeland - West Cumbria Care and Support (West House) replacing Action for Children who are continuing with their provision of children's centre services including the provision of services to younger (0-8 years) disabled children.
Between now and March 2013 a full evaluation of Short Break services for children with disabilities will be undertaken before further contracts are placed.
Media enquiries to communications adviser John Ballard on 01228 221752
QuoteThe FIND database includes information about disabled children up to 18 years old in Lancashire. Families are invited to submit details about their disabled child to the database, which is used to develop an overview of the needs of disabled children across the county to assist with planning services.
This service is strictly confidential – no individual information about any children or their families shared with anyone.
Every family recorded on the FIND database receives a quarterly newsletter free of charge to help them keep informed about services and support which may be relevant. Families have access to a resource directory of local and national service providers.
A multi-agency steering group oversees the management of the FIND database. You can access full details on our website which you can access via the related links section of this page or by clicking here.
Further information available on the website includes:
* the latest copies of the FIND newsletter
* Information leaflets in different languages
* the Record of Entry online application form for families to sign up to the Database
* the latest Annual Report
* useful links
Organisations wishing to add their details to the FIND directory can do so using our online form.
In 2006 a series of Parliamentary hearings took place which assessed the services for disabled children. In these hearings parents told parliamentarians that 'the lack of short breaks was the biggest single cause of unhappiness with service provision'.
Short breaks provide opportunities for disabled children and young people to spend time away from their primary carers. These include day, evening, overnight or weekend activities and take place in the child's own home, the home of an approved carer, a residential or community setting.
Short break funding
Over the past few years we have seen unprecedented amounts of funding going into funding short breaks. This included a pledge of £800million to be delivered between 2011/12 and 2014/15 through the Early Intervention Grant. This followed the success of the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme. Find out more about funding for short break services
Short breaks and the law
In January 2011 Parliament passed regulations that put a duty on local authorities to provide short breaks services in their local area. This is known as the 'Short Break Duty' and came into effect on 1 April 2011. One of the requirements on local authorities under this duty is to produce a short break services statement with details of local short break provision. Find out more about the Short Break Duty and EDCM's work monitoring its impact.
EDCM's research on short breaks
Between 2008 - 2011 EDCM undertook a research project evaluating the impact of the Aiming High for Disabled Children short breaks programme on the lives of disabled children and their families. EDCM produced annual reports on its findings. Find out more and read the reports above.
Why short breaks and not respite?
The literal definition of 'respite' is 'the laying down of a burden' or a 'temporary cessation of something that it tiring or painful'. This language is not positive. The term 'respite' reinforces the view that disabled children are passive recipients who have things done to them, rather than active citizens with lives to live. EDCM believe that the wider transformation for services for disabled children must be cultural, not just financial.
The language of disability has rightly changed over the years, and the term 'short breaks' is part of that process. The crucial difference in short breaks is that both the parent and the child get a break that suits their individual needs. As we move towards transformation, the child's break is valid and valued by all.