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Aiming High statement

The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children regulations came into effect on 1 April 2011. They established in law the duty for each local authority to provide a range of short breaks for ‘disabled’ children and young people (under the age of 18 years old), and their parents and carers.

As part of the duty, each local authority must produce a short breaks statement to provide parents and carers with the following information:

  • the range of short breaks available
     
  • how to access the short breaks
     
  • how our short breaks have been designed to meet local needs

 

Staffordshire short breaks statement 2019-20

We have designed this statement with parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), including additional needs, living in Staffordshire.

We are delivering a range of short breaks for children and young people with SEND, their parents/carers and families. The breaks enable all to lead healthy, full and fulfilling lives.

Contents


 

Legislation   Back to top

The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations came into effect on 1 April 2011. They established in law the duty for each local authority to provide a range of short breaks for ‘disabled’ children and young people (under the age of 18 years old), and their parents and carers.

As part of the duty, each local authority must produce a short breaks statement. This is to provide parents and carers with the following information:

  • The range of short breaks available.
     
  • How to access the range of short breaks available.
     
  • How our short breaks have been designed to meet local needs.

We need to keep our short breaks statement and the actual short breaks provision under review. This is in partnership with parents and carers.


 

What do we mean by disability?   Back to top

 We apply The Equality Act 2010 Definition of a disability:

 “A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability toperform normal day to day activities.”

A copy of the Equality Act 2010 (and accompanying explanatory notes) can be found on the Gov.UK website.


 

What about the Children and Families Act 2014?   Back to top

The Government introduced the Children and Families Act in 2014. Education, health and social care work to support children and young people with SEND changed to achieve positive outcomes for them.

One of the key changes includes the publication of a clear and transparent ‘ Local Offer’ detailing up to date services and support mechanisms.

Many parents and carers have told us that they would prefer us to use the term ‘SEND’ within our short breaks statement and not 'additional needs' or 'disability'. This is in line with our response to implementing this act.

Also many people asked for the extension of Aiming High to meet the needs of young people aged 18-25 years old, in certain circumstances.


 

What is a short break?   Back to top

  • They are activities for children and young people with SEND that enable them to have fun, spend time with friends and build upon their confidence and skills, in a safe environment.
     
  • They usually take place outside of a child’s home. For example they can be in local leisure centres and community spaces. We provide some of our short breaks in one of our specialist resource centres. They could also be from the home of an approved carer. This depends on the needs of the child or young person with SEND and their families.

  • Usually they take place outside of the school day. This means that activities could happen in an evening, at a weekend or during school holidays.
     
  • The breaks last for at least 2 hours per activity. They can also include overnight stays, depending on the need of the child or young person with SEND and their families and the type of activity.
     
  • The child or young person with SEND can attend the activity without their families. This gives parents and carers the opportunity to have a break from their caring role.
     
  • Some of our short breaks give siblings and/or families the opportunity to take part in activities together. Some activities are specifically designed to help children and young people with SEND and their families to develop the confidence to access universal services.

Who are short breaks for?   Back to top

Our short breaks programme is open to all children and young people who:

  • Have SEND, and may require support in order to participate in activities

  • Ordinarily reside in Staffordshire

Information on Aiming High activities is available on the Staffordshire Connects website.

Information on other opportunities is also available.


 

Universal services (level 1)   Back to top

What are universal services?

Universal Services are services which are open access to all members of the community, who choose to use them. These may include:

  • libraries
  • youth clubs
  • leisure centres
  • Scouts
  • Brownies
  • sports groups

How can they help me?

They offer activities that enable all children and young people to have fun, enjoy themselves and make friends, including those with SEND.

A number of children and young people with SEND access quality universal services and/or a mixture of targeted short break services.

How do I access them?

Many universal services advertise their activity opportunities within the local community.

Can universal services support my child?

We recognise that children and young people with SEND can have specialist support requirements.

We encourage parents and carers to access universal services and work with these providers to improve access for children and young people with SEND and increase their knowledge and skills.

We need to continue working in partnership with universal services to enable greater access for children and young people with SEND, and their families, and to ensure the provision of appropriate support.

Where can I find universal services?

Contact your local council

Your local borough or district council may be a good place to start looking for activities in your local area.

Staffordshire Connects

This is an online directory of local care, support and wellbeing services, activities and events across Staffordshire aimed at the whole family.

Staffordshire Connects makes it easier to find support and wellbeing services from hundreds of organisations, all in one place. There is a wide variety of services and activities for children and young people and their families including those with special educational needs and disabilities.

The site is regularly updated and new organisations are being added all the time so please check the site regularly for the latest updates.


 

Targeted short breaks - 'community based' (level 2/3)   Back to top

What are targeted short breaks?

Targeted short breaks are different from universal services. They are designed for and targeted at children and young people with SEND.

We deliver our targeted short breaks through our Aiming High programme. Activities include:

  • play schemes
     
  • youth clubs and leisure or recreational activities
     
  • focussed 1:1 support

How can targeted short breaks help me?

Our Aiming High programme recognises that, on occasion, children and young people with SEND need extra support to take part in activities.

Some of our providers put on activities that are open to all children and young people. They ensure extra support provision for children and young people with SEND, to enable them to fully participate.

Some of our providers put on activities specially for children and young people with SEND, and their families, to attend.

Several activities are designed to meet the needs of specific children and young people. For example they could be for children with autism or for specific ages.

A range of activities are available and provided by many organisations across Staffordshire.

As part of our programme we also offer a ‘lifeskills and independence service’. This offers 1:1 support for children and young people with SEND to access their local community and universal services for a limited time.

How do I access them?

Many of our targeted community based short breaks are open access to children and young people who have SEND (a disability and/or additional need) and need extra support to take part in activities. You do not need to have a confirmed diagnosis.

Information on Aiming High activities is available on the Staffordshire Connects website.

In the first instance we ask that you contact our booking team to register your interest and to discuss what opportunities are available.

The Aiming High free activity offer

  • Children and young people can access a set amount of free activities each month (usually 1 a month, with extra during the school holidays). This is known as the Aiming High free activity offer.

  • Once your free activities have been used for a particular month, children and young people can take part in additional activities. There will be a charge for these (where applicable, charges will be highlighted in individual adverts).
     
  • The offer can be used on a wide variety of activities but set charges will apply for some activities i.e. courses and residential activities (where applicable this will be highlighted in individual adverts).
     
  • You pay the charge directly to the Provider at the activity, where applicable.
     
  • Please note: the Aiming High free activity offer does not apply to our lifeskills and independence 1:1 support.

How do I book places and make referrals?

To book please call 0300 111 8007 (option 5).

Lines are open:

Monday to Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Please make sure you have full details of the activity you wish to book onto including:

  • provider
  • event name
  • date of the activity

To make sure that everyone has a chance to access a free activity, the Aiming High free activity offer can be booked between 1st to 11th of each month. Please note that these dates may change slightly to fit around bank holiday periods or Sundays.

Additional activities (for which there may be a charge) can then be booked after the 11th of each month.

You can usually book places on activities right up until the last minute, except for those activities that require an assessment first. Just call us and we will let you know if any places are available.

If you need to cancel an activity don’t worry, but please just try to let us or the provider know with as much notice as possible.


Specialist short breaks (level 4)   Back to top

What are specialist short breaks?

These are aimed at children and young people with SEND, and their families who have complex needs. They may need an individualised package of support to meet these needs.

How can specialist short breaks help me?

Residential or family based overnights

We deliver a range of specialist short breaks including:

  • one of the specialist centres

  • our Family Link Service (overnight stays in the home of an approved carer)

Day care

This is also known as outreach work. We can offer day care to parents and carers to provide a break from their caring role during the day in various settings.

The focus is on enabling children and young people to manage their own care and support needs as much as possible.

Direct payments

Parents and carers can be given funding to buy the required support. This could include employment of a personal assistant (PA) etc.

How do I access them?

Most children and young people will get support through either universal services or targeted short breaks.

If you feel these services are not enough, you may want to access specialist short breaks. You will need to have an assessment of need, completed by a specialist worker. This assessment will look at the needs of the child or young person with SEND and that of the family.

For further information and advice about specialist short breaks, support and assessments please see our access page.

Alternatively call us: 

Phone: 0800 1313 126
Monday to Thursday 8.30am - 5pm
Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm


 

How are our short breaks designed to meet local needs?   Back to top

We always welcome feedback from parents or carers and children and young people on the activities that we offer. Our providers also collect feedback from families. This feedback is then used to shape future service delivery. Regular monitoring meetings and provider forums take place to discuss the development of the service.

We are also working with providers to develop the Staffordshire Connects website information. This ensures that families have access to information on a range of activities.


 

What's next?   Back to top

We are committed to delivering Aiming High and short break activities.

We will be working with providers and families to review and develop services over the next few years.


 

Having your say   Back to top

Parents and carers of children and young people with SEND can make a difference to the service their families receive in a number of ways.

Aiming High

We are always happy to receive direct feedback from any attendees to activities, at any time, whether this is a compliment or a concern!

Comments and enquiries can be sent to:

SEND IASS - Staffordshire Family Partnership

This partnership is for parents and carers of children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs or disabilities. They offer information, advice and support about education, health and social care issues.

Visit their website or you can contact them on:


 

 

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