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Staffordshire Short Breaks Sufficiency Statement

For families and professionals who support and care for a child or young person aged 0-18 years of age, who has a disability and lives in Staffordshire. This statement will provide information about Short Break services available.

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

 

Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and Disability

The Children and Families Act 2014 requires each Local Authority to produce and publish a Local Offer which sets out in one place information about provision available across education, health and social care for children and young people in the area who have special educational needs or are disabled.

We developed the Staffordshire Local Offer with parents, carers, children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and professionals to help ensure it meets your needs. Information and advice about services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities is in one place, so it is quick and easy to find.

Children and Families Act 2014

The Children and Families Act 2014 aims to have Education, Health and Social Care to work together to support children and young people achieve positive outcomes. Some key aims are to:

  • Ensure that the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is joined up and holistic
  • Have a clear and transparent “Local Offer” which details what services, provision and support is available within the local area
  • Ensure the voice of the children, young people, parents and carers is at the heart of what we do, including shaping local services

Welcome to our Short Breaks Statement

In Staffordshire, we work together with children, young people and their families to achieve the best possible outcomes in all areas of their life. We believe that with the ‘right support at the right time’ this is possible. Working together, children and young people with disabilities can and will achieve their full potential.

This Short Breaks Statement is designed to show how we meet the social care needs of Children and Young People with disabilities in Staffordshire.

Contents


Legislation  Back to top

Short Breaks Regulations

The Short Breaks regulations are used to guide Staffordshire Council’s Short Breaks Service offer.

The regulations place a duty for all local authorities to produce a statement, to explain what ‘Short Breaks services’ are available to children with disabilities and their families, and how they could access them. The council has to publish the statement online and review it regularly to ensure that information is up to date.

The Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations came into effect on 1st 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.

The Legal Framework used in this statement:

  • Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulations 2011
  • Children Act 1989 (Section 17 (1))
  • Children and Young Persons Act 2008
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970
  • Equality Act 2010
  • NHS Act 2006 (Amended 2012)
  • Care Act 2014.

In summary, local authorities must provide a range of Short Breaks services that are:

  • Flexible, reliable, accessible and regular to meet changing family need
  • Reach all parents/carers in Staffordshire with a child who has SEND
  • Build on universal services
  • Promote greater levels of confidence and competence for moving towards adult life
  • Include: day-time care, overnight care, respite
  • Promote participation in activities
  • Culturally and age appropriate and support a child’s development
  • Fun and engaging and allow children to have time with their peers, make new friends and have new experiences
  • Safe
  • Delivered by trusted providers who are well trained and understand a child’s needs.

They also should enable:

  • Parents/carers to have clear information on their children’s entitlement
  • Allow parents/carers to have choices on a range of services and activities which best suit their children
  • Give parents/carers opportunities to access support, both emotional and practical, from other parents/carers and staff
  • Allow siblings to know their sibling is enjoying activities and join in with some activities (dependent on activities and provider)
  • Siblings to have time with their parents/carers away from caring responsibilities.

What do we mean by disability?  Back to top

Staffordshire County Council uses the legal definition of disability, as defined in the Equality Act 2010

A physical and/or mental impairment that has a “substantial” and “long term” negative effect on your ability to do normal activities.

It includes children who have moderate to severe disabilities. It also includes children who have complex health needs and who may have palliative or life limiting condition. Having a disability does not automatically mean that you or your child need to access social care support, you may instead be signposted to access ‘universal services’. This statement is intended to show you what support may be best for you based on your child’s needs.

What “substantial” and “long term” mean

  • “substantial” is more than minor or trivial, eg, it takes much longer than it usually would to complete a daily task like getting dressed
  • “long term” means 12 months or more, eg a breathing condition that develops as a result of a lung infection.

There are special rules about recurring or fluctuating conditions e.g. arthritis 

Progressive conditions

A progressive condition is one that gets worse over time. People with progressive conditions can be classed as disabled. However, you automatically meet the disability definition under the Equality Act 2010 from the day you are diagnosed with HIV infection, cancer or multiple sclerosis.

What is not counted as a disability?

There is guidance on conditions that are not covered by the disability definition Equality Act 2010


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.

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. 

Children and young people with special educational needs or a disability

For children and young people with special educational needs, the Act aims to:

Get education, health care and social care services working together

  • Tell children, young people and their parents/carers what they need to know about their disability or special educational needs
  • Make sure children, young people and their families know what help they can get when a child or young person has special educational needs or a disability
  • Make sure that different organisations work together to help children and young people with special educational needs
  • Give children, young people and their parents/carers more say about the help they can get
  • Set up one overall assessment to look at what special help a child or young person needs with their education and their health and social care needs, all at the same time
  • Give a children or young person just one plan for meeting their education, health and social care needs, which can run from birth to age 25 if councils agree that a young person needs more time to get ready for adulthood
  • Make sure children, young people and their parents/carers can choose some of the help they need
  • Provide ways to help sort things out if a child or young person or their parent/carer needs to appeal about the help they get. 

 

Staffordshire SENDIASS

Staffordshire SENDIASS is jointly commissioned by Staffordshire County Council and the Integrated Care Board. It operates independently as a confidential, impartial, free service for parents and carers of children and young people (0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities, and also for children and young people (0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities. 

SENDIASS provides Information, Advice and Support covering education, health and social care issues and can be contacted through the service helpline or by email. 

Telephone Helpline: 01785 356921

(Monday to Thursday 9am - 5pm, Fridays 9am to 4.30pm)

E-Mail: sfps@staffordshire.gov.uk

Website: https://www.staffs-iass.org/home.aspx 


 The Local Picture  Back to top

Within Staffordshire the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) estimates the population numbers for the county. From the 2021 Census the:

  • Estimated population was 876,100 people
  • Estimated population of 0 – 5 years was 43,700 - 5% of the population
  • Estimated population of 0 – 16 years was 149,700 17.1% of the population

Research by the Department for Education suggests that 7-10% can be used to estimate the number of children with disabilities within the child population and that 1.2% will have complex or significant needs. 

Education Health and Care Plans

Within the last 2 academic years, there have been 2198 initial requests received for Education, Health, and Care Needs Assessments (EHCNA), 50% of these have proceeded to an assessment.

The primary need of children and young people in Staffordshire with an Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) is:

NoPrimary NeedChildren and young people
1 Autistic Spectrum Condition 1757
2 Speech, Language & Communication needs 1466
3 Social, Emotional & Mental Health needs 1305
4 Physical Disability 343
5 Specific Learning Difficulties 190

Aiming High provision

Over the last year April 2022 – March 2023: 5,700 short breaks sessions were available to eligible children within Staffordshire, that ranged from activity sessions, craft sessions, days out, youth clubs, riding lessons.


What is a short break?  Back to top

Short breaks 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 home often in places such as leisure centres, community spaces, provider buildings and parks and recreational areas. We also provide some of our short breaks in one of our specialist resources centres, they could also be from the home of an approved carer, such as disability fostering. This often depends on the needs of the child or young person with SEND and their family and is only accessible following a full assessment of need.

The short break activities usually take place outside of the school day, this means that activities could happen in an evening, weekend or during school holidays and can vary in timescales, i.e., 2 hours, when part of the Aiming High activities.

Short Breaks offer can be:

  • Time for the child or young person to attend an activity without their family
  • Activities for siblings and families to attend
  • Different durations

Who are short breaks for?  Back to top

Our short breaks programme can be accessed by children and young people who:

  • Have a disability as defined by section 6 of the Equality Act 2010  Have SEND and may require support in order to participate in activities, with or without an EHCP
  • Are aged 0-18 years
  • Reside in Staffordshire (not Stoke on Trent residents)

We know that each family and child/young person is different and that some families may need more support. Children and young people with complex needs may require more support to access services and have a short break. These services will require a Child and Family assessment completed by an allocated social worker, often but not exclusively these assessments are completed by the Children’s Disability Team. 

Information about the Aiming High short breaks can be found on the Staffordshire Connects website and Staffordshire County Council Aiming High webpage.

There is support available for children and young people with a disability or additional need and their families who live in Staffordshire:

  • Aiming High (short breaks)
  • Social work support
  • Blue badge parking scheme
  • Equipment and adaptations
  • Families First 

Child protection concerns

If you have a serious concern about the safety of a child or young person please see the Staffordshire Childrens Advice and Support Service pages for information on how to report your concerns.

 https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Care-for-children-and-families/Childprotection/First-Response.aspx

Levels of support offered

Not all children with disabilities and their families need the same level of support. There are three levels of short breaks offers in Staffordshire, matched to the impact of your child’s disability on day-to-day life, and each family’s individual circumstances.

Specialist support

Severe Impact: you/your child’s assessed need has a high impact on daily living and or development

Targeted preventative support

Moderate Impact: you/your child’s assessed need has a moderate impact on daily living and or development

Universal support

Low Impact: you/your child’s needs has a low impact on daily living and or development


Universal services and specialist support
  Back to top

Universal services are services which are open to all members of the community who choose to use them.

  • Libraries
  • Scouts, Brownies, Rainbows, Guides, Cubs
  • Youth Clubs
  • Sports Groups
  • Cinema’s
  • Family Hubs
  • Leisure Centres 

Universal plus services are where reasonable adjustments have been made to meet additional needs, particularly when disability has a lesser impact on day-to-day life.

They offer activities that enable all children and young people to have fun, enjoy themselves and make friends, including those children with SEND. A number of children and young people with SEND access quality universal services and/or a mixture of targeted short breaks services. 

Aims of these activities are: 

  • The child or young person’s family feels supported
  • The child or young person needs support to build relationships and social skills with others in their community
  • The young person needs support to prepare for adulthood 

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 to work 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?

Staffordshire Connects 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 well-being 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. 

Contact your local council

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

 Enjoy Staffordshire

Short Breaks in the Heart of Britain visit the official tourism site for Staffordshire, with everything you need to know, including things to do, what’s on, places to stay and where to eat. It also details disabled friendly activities and venues.

Targeted Preventative Support

Preventative Level Support is for children and young people where disability has a moderate impact on day-to-day life, such as:

  •  The child or young person and their family is isolated
  •  Caring for the child or young person has a moderate impact on the health (including mental health) of their parent/carer and/or the family unit
  •  The child or young person needs a moderate level of supervision and care to ensure their safety and wellbeing
  •  The young person needs additional support to prepare for independence in adulthood
  •  Autism Hub
  •  SEND Local Offer
  •  Occupational Therapy
  •  Aids and Adaptation
  •  Targeted short breaks activities
  •  Family hubs

Service Examples:

  •  Autism Hub
  •  SEND Local Offer
  •  Occupational Therapy
  •  Aids and Adaptation
  •  Targeted short breaks activities
  •  Family hubs

Targeted Short Breaks – Community Based  Back to top

 

These activities are specifically designed for children and young people with disabilities, funded by the Local Authority.

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:

  •  Horse riding
  •  Football and games
  •  Chill out sessions
  •  Wildlife sessions
  •  Yoga
  •  Trips to museums and activity parks
  •  Theatre trips
  •  Outdoor and environmental activities
  •  Groups and youth clubs
  •  Meals out together

Aiming High is a programme of activities and short breaks or children and young people aged 0- 18 years old with a special educational need/disability (SEND) who live in Staffordshire. Activities are available to anyone with a need. An EHCP is not needed. 

The programme is designed to:

  • Boost confidence in children and young people
  •  Independence

Some activities are open to the whole family while other activities are suitable for children and young people to attend independently. The programme is split into Lot 1 and Lot 2.

 

Lot 1 Family Activities

These are activities which the providers plan and deliver where you can attend as a family. Parents/carers and siblings can attend together. The activities are planned for the child/young person with SEND to enjoy and participate in. Most of the activities allow four places per family, and that could be made up of: child with SEND, a sibling, two parents/carers, or could be child with SEND, two siblings and one parent/carer.

Activities can be family activities at country parks, such as cycling at Westport Lake using specialised bikes, pumpkin picking in the Autumn, fun at the farm, attendance at a football game, monkey forest trips, horse riding, wild yoga or outside activities in country parks.

Lot 2 Independent Activities

These are activities which the providers plan and deliver for children/young people to attend independently. Children/young people can be dropped off with the provider and then collected, or parents/carers can stay nearby and chat to other parents/carers, have a coffee/tea or wait nearby. Support networks are built with parents/carers and allow time for talking.

Activities can be meals out, bowling, sports sessions, day trips and themed events.

Who delivers our activities

We have 9 providers offering activities to children, young people and families:

Action for Children, Chase Aqua Rural Enterprise, Doves Care, Staffordshire Wildlife, Let us Play, Caudwell Children, Chuckle Productions, Gartmore Riding School and Stoke City Community Trust.


How do I access Aiming High – Short Breaks?  Back to top

 

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 and we send out a newsletter and simple to use brochure at the end of each month.

In the first instance we ask that you contact our booking team on: 0300 111 8007 (option 2, then option 3) to register your interest and to discuss what opportunities are available or you can contact us directly at the Aiming High inbox: aiminghigh@staffordshire.gov.uk

 

The Aiming High – Short Breaks free activity offer

  •  Children and young people can access two free activities each month – 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 or by speaking to the provider) and you will 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 life skills and independence 1:1 support. 

 

How do I book places and make referrals?

To book please call: 0300 111 8007 – option 2 and then option 3

Lines are open: Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

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

  •  Provider
  •  Event Name
  •  Date of the Activity
  •  Child’s name and date of birth
  •  Who has parental responsibility
  •  Contact numbers and email addresses

 

Confirmed places and Expressions of Interest

We want to make sure that bookings for our activities are accessible to everyone and so if you are unable to contact our booking team via telephone, please email: sendreferrals@staffordshire.gov.uk and a member of the team will be in touch as soon as possible.

If you can please include on the email:

  • Child’s name
  •  Date of birth
  •  Activity
  •  Activity provider
  •  Date of activity
  •  Child’s school
  •  Details of SEND need
  •  If 1:1 support will be needed
  •  Who has parental responsibility

This will help the team to deal with your enquiry.

To make sure that everyone has a chance to access a free activity, the Aiming High free activity can be booked between the first to the eleventh of the month. Please note that these dates may change slightly to fit around bank holiday periods or weekends. We are also using an Expression of Interest option on some activities, where you can call up to book the activity and be on the Expression of Interest list, you will then be contacted by the provider after the 11th to confirm if you have a place. This is to support equitability in booking the sessions which are highest in demand.

Additional activities (for which there may be a charge) can be then booked after the eleventh of each month. You can usually book places on activities up until a few days before, all the listings and the booking team can advise you of the final date to book as some of the activities require an assessment first – the assessment is completed to ensure that the activity is suitable for your child and we have the right support in place, and to ensure if a 1:1 place is needed that we can accommodate this. We will list on Staffordshire Connects when and if activities are fully booked.


Community Support  Back to top

Lifeskills and Independence/Moving Forward programme

The 1-1 life skills programme, previously formed part of the Aiming High Community Short Breaks programme and comprises a maximum of sixteen 4-hour sessions - 64 hours (annually) of 1-1 support from commissioned providers, focussed on the achievement of specific outcomes, and geared to help the young person with preparation for adulthood.

To qualify as a Lifeskills and Independence opportunity, any support period must last a minimum of 2 hours and be facilitated outside of the school day – this can include at an evening, weekend or during the school holidays.

Referrals can be received for any child and young person aged 11-25 who has a formal diagnosis of SEND, however, for those between the ages of 18-25, only those who are not eligible to receive paid services from Adult Social Care (18yrs+) will be deemed eligible for support. Referrals can be accepted via any member of the public by telephone or email, there is no requirement for a member of the social care team, or health professional, to be involved with the family nor make the initial referral.

Focused on achievement of specified outcomes, to be agreed with the child and young person and their family.

Further community support can be offered following a Social Care Assessment, with the child/young person meeting the requirements of the Children Act 1989, Chronically Sick and Disabled Person’s Act 1970, and subsequent legislation. This can come in the form of:

Domiciliary Care, Community supervision, sitting service

Community and Home Care Support and Socialisation aims to aid families to stay safe and well together at home, without an escalation of needs.

The Sitting Service is to ensure parents/carers are supported to take a short break from their caring role and responsibilities when caring for a child or young person aged 0-18 who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disability.


Summary

Targeted Short Breaks Activities

These activities are specifically designed for children and young people with disabilities, funded by the Local Authority.

Aiming High is a programme of activities and short breaks for children and young people aged 0-18 years old with a special educational need/disability (SEND) who live in Staffordshire. Activities are available to anyone with a need. An EHCP is not needed.

The programme is designed to:

  •  Boost children and young people's independence
  •  And independence.

Some activities are open to the whole family while other activities are suitable for children and young people to attend independently.


Have 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:


Publication and Review

Our Short Break Service Statement is published on the council’s local offer website and can be found by following the link: The Statement will be reviewed annually. The review will continue to reflect the views and choices of disabled children, young people and their families.

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