Short Breaks statement for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (currently under review)
If you would like to access or find out more about the short breaks service, please contact The Stephen Wiltshire Centre on 020 8753 4443 or via email to Enquiries_toStephenWiltshireCentre@lbhf.gov.uk. They will be able to advise you on what is on offer and discuss your eligibility.
The Short Breaks statement for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham is currently under review as part of the Disabled Children's Service Review.
You can download the Short Breaks statement in PDF format or click on the drop down panel below for a basic text version that is compatible with the Accessibility options offered by this website.
Welcome to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Short Breaks Statement. This is a document for disabled children, young people and their families. It contains information about all short breaks services currently available in Hammersmith and Fulham and developments for short breaks in the future.
2. What is a Short Break? ..........................................................................3
3. Services in Hammersmith and Fulham....................................................4
4. Short Breaks Services provided by The Disabled Children’s Service...........6
5. Direct Payments....................................................................................8
6. So how do we get these services? What is the process? .........................9
7. Transitions.......................................................................................... 10
8. Current Developments with Short Breaks in Hammersmith and Fulham.. 10
9. Consultation for this Short Breaks Statement ........................................ 11
10. Review of this Short Breaks Statement and responsibility for maintaining
this statement. ........................................................................................ 12
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Disabled Children’s Service, Short Breaks Statement 2012.
The purpose of this statement is to ensure all disabled children and young people and their families living in Hammersmith and Fulham know about the short breaks and services that are available for disabled children and young people and how to access these services.
This statement has been written in consultation with parents and carers, children, young people and professionals in Hammersmith and Fulham.
From April 2011 all local authorities have responsibility for producing and maintaining an up to date short breaks statement on their websites. This is so families with disabled children and young people are aware of what is available and know how to organise the right services and so children and young people receive quality short breaks.
This statement has most recently been reviewed in October 2012 and is subject to ongoing review every six months.
2. What is a Short Break?
A short break is time away for a disabled child or young person from their regular family environment. This can be for a few hours, a day, over night or several days at a time. A short break is recreational time, time to have fun, to participate in hobbies, socialise with other children or young people and explore different activities. Short breaks enable a child or young person to gain independence and confidence, contributing to their social inclusion and personal development. Short breaks are intended to be a positive experience for the child or young person.
Short breaks are often referred to as respite. Short breaks can take place at the child or young persons’ home, in the community, at dedicated respite facilities or at local leisure facilities.
Short breaks enable families of disabled children and young people to have a break also. Parents or carers can use the time to focus on other siblings, get things they need to do done or have some recreational time also.
The government defines short breaks as:
“ Short breaks provide opportunities for disabled children to spend time away from their primary carers. These include day, evening, overnight and weekend activities and take place in the child’s own home, the home of an approved carer, or a residential or community setting.”
Together for Disabled Children October 2008 see www.toghterfdc.org for further details.
3. Services in Hammersmith and Fulham
There are different levels of service in Hammersmith and Fulham depending on the needs of children and young people.
Universal services are those services provided to all children, young people and their families through Children and Family Centres, youth clubs, extended school activities and child care. Universal services may either be part of inclusive mainstream services, or specialist services and are available to all children, young people and their families. These are services directly accessed by families by contacting the relevant provider without the need for assessment or funded package of care. Examples of universal service are:
• Leisure provision or leisure centres
• Youth Services
• After school clubs, borough wide holiday schemes
• Activities, e.g. horse riding, swimming
• Private and voluntary organisations offering specific courses and
Referrals to these services could be through:
• Health Visitor (under 5)
• Children centres
• Extended School Services
• School Nurse
• Family Information Service
• Voluntary Sector, community or charitable organisations
All universal services have a duty to respond to the Equality Act 2010 by ensuring that their services are accessible and comply with reasonable adjustments required for disabled children and young people.
Targeted Services – the Localities Service
The Localities Services is a relatively new service in Hammersmith and Fulham having been established in June 2011. This service consists of three teams based in the north, centre and south of the borough consisting of multidisciplinary professionals. These include youth workers, health workers, nurses, benefits advice workers and social workers. Each of the three teams has one dedicated worker trained in working with disabled children and young people.
The localities service focus on early intervention, aiming to address issues early and reduce the need for further involvement of services in families lives.
The professionals in this service work as a ‘team around the family,’ helping families to work through issues and strengthening families by helping them to resolve difficulties and find solutions to problems. They will be able to refer disabled children and young people to universal short breaks services or if they are not able to do this they will refer them to the Disabled Children’s Service.
Specialist Services, The Disabled Children’s Service -an overview of the different teams
The Disabled Children’s Service consists of four teams. There are two Disabled Children’s’ Teams, a Short Breaks Team and the Haven Respite Unit.
The Disabled Children’s Service accept referrals for children and young people aged 0- 18 who have a diagnosed disability which has a significant daily impact of the life of the child or young person and their family.
Disabled Children’s Teams 1 and 2
The two Disabled Children’s Teams consist of social workers, social care workers and occupational therapists. These teams assess disabled children and young people in accordance with the Children’s Act 1989 and are responsible for agreeing, setting up and maintaining packages of care in consultation with the child or young person and their family. A ‘care package’ is an agreed amount of support including services and short breaks based on the assessed needs and preference of the child or young person.
The Short Breaks Team
The Short Breaks Team consists of four social workers. They are responsible for recruiting and managing sessional care workers. Sessional care workers provide 1:1 support for disabled children and young people to have short breaks both at home and out in the community. This team are also responsible for linking the best carer to each child and for reviewing these links ensuring the relationship between the carers and the child or young is excellent and the child or young person is benefitting from the short breaks with their carer.
The Haven Respite Unit
The Haven is a 5 bedroom residential respite service for children and young
people aged 9 - 18. The team consists of 15 staff including managers,
residential social workers and a cook. Children and young people attend the
Haven for afternoon and evening visits, day time visits in the weekend, during
school holidays and overnight respite when and if they feel ready for this.
4. Short Breaks Services provided by The Disabled Children’s Service
Sessional carers are employed by the Disabled Children’s Service and
managed by the Short Breaks Team. They provide 1:1 support for children to
have short breaks at home, in the community and at play schemes and
recreational facilities in the borough. They currently have access to passes
for the Lyric Theatre, the London Eye, London Zoo, Vue Cinemas, Bowling
and Gambados Play Centre.
The Short Breaks Service now have a new Activity Centre within Dalling Road
which also accommodates that Haven Respite Unit. This activity centre has a
sensory room, a soft play room, a kitchen for cooking and life skills and an art
room. Sessional carers are able to take children there for play sessions.
Sessional carers are recruited and specially trained by the Short Breaks Team.
They are monitored monthly with a supervision session. This involves them
meeting and discussing their work in detail with their supervising social
worker. They also have 6 monthly reviews with their social worker and are re
approved to do this work annually.
Sessional care workers are linked with the children that they work by the
social workers in the Short Breaks Team. They receive regular ongoing
training and they also attend quarterly support groups with other carers to
discuss their role and ensure they are providing an excellent service.
Referrals for sessional care workers are made by social workers in the
Disabled Children’s Teams as part of a child or young persons’ care package.
For further information about this process please refer to ‘How do we get
these services, what is the process?’ in section 6 of this document.
Carers via private agencies
The Disabled Children’s Teams are also able to arrange for to 1:1 carers to
provide short breaks to children and young people at home or in the
community through private agencies based in London. However with the
development of our own in house sessional carers we are using less carers
through private agencies.
The Haven Residential Respite Service
The Haven is a 5 bedroom respite service for children and young people aged
from 9-18, located at. 120 Dalling Road, London W6 OJE.
The Haven relocated from Olgar Close in February 2012.
The new home has been extensively refurbished and adapted for the needs
of children with disabilities and further improvements are planned.
Children and young people attend for both day time and afternoon visits and
for overnight respite.
Children usually start with introductory tea time visits after school. When
they are comfortable they might come during the day at the weekend. When
they feel ready and if the family are happy they will commence overnight
Some children and young people prefer to have day visits, others prefer
overnights. Overnight stays are determined entirely on how the child or
young person and their family feel and what they prefer.
The Haven has a new specifically designed sensory room, two play rooms, a
computer room, and a secluded courtyard.
The Haven have a mini bus which enable them take children and young
people on outings in the community during weekends and holidays.
Children and young people from the Royal Borough of Kensington and
Chelsea also attend the Haven. Hammersmith and Fulham have a contract
with The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and have agreed to
provide these services. This contract has been operating for 5 and a half
years and has not resulted in any decrease in the numbers of children and
young people from Hammersmith and Fulham attending.
At the time of this statement being updated (October 2012) a formal decision
for the Haven to remain permanently at Dalling Road and cabinet sign off
agreeing this decision is anticipated.
The Anthony Lillis Play Scheme based at Queensmill School
The Disabled Children’s Service fund the Hammersmith and Fulham Play
Association to provide The Anthony Lillis Play Scheme at the Gibs Green site
of Queensmill School. This scheme is for children aged 9-18. This scheme
runs on Saturdays in term time and during school holidays. The scheme
provides a range of recreational activities for children to participate in.
Transport is provided to and from the scheme and children receive a care
giver ratio ie 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1 based on their assessed needs. Agreement for
funding to attend this play scheme needs to come through the Disabled
Children’s Service Panel (ref section 6 below).
The Under 8’s Playscheme for children aged 5-8 run by the Hammersmith and Fulham Play Association based at Queensmill School
The Hammersmith and Fulham Play Association have recently commenced
providing a play scheme for disabled children aged 5-8 on the premises of
Queensmill School. The Play Association have been awarded BBC Children In
Need money in order to be able to provide this service. The Disabled
Children’s Service fund 1:1 carers for children to attend this play scheme,
funding is subject to assessment and needs to be approved by the Disabled
Children’s Service Panel (ref section 6 below). This service is for children
diagnosed with all types of disability.
Hammersmith and Fulham Action Disability (HAFAD) Holiday Play Scheme
This youth program operates during school holidays and is contracted by Youth Services. Funding from the disabled children's services is provided to support children with high complex needs through the provision of one to one support workers. HAFAD's holiday youth program offers a range of different leisure and progression opportunities for young disabled children and young people (11yrs to 25 yrs).
Access to other play schemes
The Disabled Children’s Service provides funding for children and young people to attend a range of mainstream play schemes with a 1:1 worker.
These include after school play schemes and play schemes during the holidays. If your child would like to attend a local play scheme but needs additional support to do so The Disabled Children’s Service can fund this additional support. Like all respite this is subject to assessment and Disabled Children’s Service Panel approval (ref section 6 below).
Jack Tizard School Hydrotherapy Pool
The Disabled Children’s Service are able to fund individual sessions to support families to attend the hydrotherapy pool and use the specially adapted playground at Jack Tizard during summer holidays. Funding for this service this is subject to assessment and Disabled Children’s Service Panel approval (ref section 6 below).
5. Direct Payments
Direct Payments are ideal for families who would like to organise their own services or have a particular worker in mind that they would like to care for their child or young person.
Direct payments involves the Disabled Children’s Service paying an agreed sum of money directly to parents or carers or in some cases young people to organise their own care. Direct Payments are made subject to an assessment from the Disabled Children’s team (please refer to section 5 of this document for more details).
People who receive direct payments must have a dedicated bank account for this purpose, must manage all responsibilities as an employer. They must recruit a carer to work with their child, ensure they have a CRB check and complete returns for Hammersmith and Fulham Finance Department.
However they have the flexibility of arranging short breaks that fit their child and family’s schedule and can employ people they specifically want working with their child.
Funding for this direct payments is subject to assessment and Disabled Children’s Service Panel approval (ref section 6 below).
Direct Payments Support Service
The Disabled Children’s Service provides funding to HAFAD to provide a direct payments support service to families to enable them to set up and manage direct payments appropriately.
At the time of this statement being updated (October 2012) the contract for direct payments support is in the process of being re tendered.
6. So how do we get these services? What is the process?
After a child or young person is assessed by a social worker in the Disabled Children’s Team, their case is presented to the Disabled Children’s Service Panel. The panel is chaired by the Service Manager for the Disabled Children’s Service and is made up of managers of the Disabled Children’s teams, the Short Breaks Team, the Haven and a representative from Children’s Community Nursing.
Parents or carers are welcome to attend the panel with their social worker if they wish to. They do not have to attend but attendance is always welcomed because they are able to give a real insight into the needs of their child and the daily routine of their family. Each case is presented to the panel by the social worker allocated to or working on that case. When parents or carers attend they are invited to tell the panel about their child and give information about their child’s needs.
Based on the information presented at panel the panel makes a decision about the level of care package or amount of funding that will be allocated for each child and young person. The child’s social worker is responsible for setting up services and reviewing this care package every six months.
The panel use an Eligibility Criteria with banding based on needs to help determine the level of care package that children and young people receive.
If a child or young person’s needs change before a review and the care package needs to be changed the case can be reviewed early.
In emergency situations where a short break or services are required urgently, an out of panel decision can be made by the Service Manager for Disabled Children.
The Disabled Children’s Service now have a Combined Transitions Panel with Hammersmith and Fulham Adults Services on a monthly basis. To discuss all cases of young people aged 15 – 17 who will be transitioning to Adults Services when they turn 18. This is to ensure that where young people are receiving short breaks, effective plans are made for them to continue to receive short breaks from Adults Services after they turn 18.
A dedicated Transitions worker assesses all young people after they turn 17 and works with them through the transition age beyond their 18th birthday, ensuring there is an understanding of their needs and services are in place after they turn 18.
8. New Developments with Short Breaks in Hammersmith and Fulham
The Play Inclusion Coordinator based in Hammersmith and Fulham Mencap.
From November 2011 The Disabled Children’s Service have funded a Play Inclusion Coordinator. This is a new initiative in partnership with Parentsactive. This coordinator is employed by Hammersmith and Fulham MENCAP.
Part of this worker’s role is to establish and maintain up to date knowledge of all play facilities and play schemes in Hammersmith and Fulham and sign post these for families. The worker is responsible for ensuring inclusion in mainstream play for disabled children and young people in the borough by working with exiting providers to develop their practice. Where some disabled children need extra support the coordinator will work with providers to develop specific sessions for those children and young people with the aim of them being able to access mainstream sessions when they feel confident to do so. Where possible the coordinator will run an inclusive play scheme for children aged from 4-11 during school holidays this enabling siblings to enjoy playing together
Retendering of Play Services in conjunction with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
The current play scheme for disabled children based at Queensmill School run by the Hammersmith and Fulham Play Association and funded by the Disabled Children’s Services of both Hammersmith and Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is to be retendered over the next year between December 2011 to December 2012. We want play to be a quality experience for children. The purpose of retendering is to ensure the best provider is awarded a contract to provide play services for the two boroughs.
Tri Borough Developments
At Cabinet in June 2011 members agreed to the Tri-borough integration of Children’s Services, Adult Social Care Departments, elements of Corporate Services and the borough’s Libraries Services, along with Bi-borough (RBKC and H&F) arrangements for part of Environmental Services.
At the time of this statement being updated (October 2012). A Transformation Review Tri Borough Services for Disabled Children had commenced in July 2012. The review will be looking in depth at services provided across Westminster, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham to ascertain whether services could be more effectively delivered on a Tri Borough basis. The review is anticipated to 6 months. This statement will be updated accordingly when outcomes of this review are established.
9. Consultation for this Short Breaks Statement
Consultation about services is a continuous process and the Disabled Children’s Service consults service users in a number of ways.
The Short Breaks Steering Group meets quarterly, has service user representation and provides consultation regarding current and planned short breaks services for disabled children and young people in Hammersmith and Fulham.
Regular 6 weekly meetings are held between the Parentsactive early support manager and the service manager for the Disabled Children’s Service.
There has been attendance at the Parentsactive coffee mornings by members of the Disabled Children’s Service management team.
The Disabled Children’s Service undertake an annual survey of all service users every July. Last July the service received a 50% response rate.
The Integrated Service Meeting is a quarterly meeting and provides helpful liaison with Parents Active as well as partner agencies within Health and Education working with disabled children and young people.
10. Review of this Short Breaks Statement and responsibility for maintaining this statement.
The service manager for the Disabled Children’s Service in Hammersmith and Fulham has responsibility for updating and maintaining this statement.
Any queries regarding this statement can be forwarded to the Service Manager whose contact number is: 020 8753 3321.
This statement will be updated regularly. It was formally reviewed and updated in consultation with service users, multi agency professionals working with Disabled Children and staff of the Disabled Children’s Service in October 2012. It will be formally reviewed and updated again in April 2013.