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.
Following a needs assessment, as described within the Torbay Children with Disabilities (CWD) Elgibility Criteria, the Children with Disabilities Team will usually only provide services to children and young people who have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial long term adverse effect at a severe or profound level as further explained within the Torbay Children with Disabilities Eligibility Criteria.
These may include:
- Complex, profound and severe health needs that arise from the disability, that are life threatening, degenerative illness or organic disorder resulting in severe disability
- Profound and severe learning disabilities (e.g. following P levels of the curiculum)
- Profound and severe communication needs (e.g. none or very little communication used)
- Profound and sever behaviour associated with disability (e.g. frequently poses sever risks to self or others)
- Profound and severe mobility needs (e.g. unable to walk)
- Severe sensory impairment (e.g. registered blind and profoundly deaf)
Information for parents or carers of children and young people with disabilities who do not meet the Eligibility Criteria for the Children with Disability Team
Some children and young people will have disabilities but will not have needs that require the specialist support and resources provided by the CWD Team. These will usually include children and young people who:
- Present with a long-term disability at a moderate or mild level as described within the Children with Disability Eligability Criteria.
- Present with a disability or disabilities that are not long-term or substantial.
- Present with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties due to social or environmental factors i.e. the behaviour is not associated with a disability.
Children and young people in these categories may still receive services from the Torbay’s Children’s Social Care Service working together with other relevant services.
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 Children with Disability Team Eligibility Criteria
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) 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